Dominion, a manufacturer of voting machines, sued Fox News for defamation for its coverage of the 2020 US election, but a last-minute settlement has been reached.
The owner of the network, Rupert Murdoch and his family, agreed to pay Dominion $787.5 million (£634 million). Even if the settlement is sizable, Fox avoided what some referred to as the century’s biggest slander trial.
However, the network is dealing with a second, related complaint from Smartmatic, a different provider of electoral equipment.
Dominion and Fox can now put the lawsuit behind them thanks to the deal, and both businesses may declare success.
According to the professor of law at Roger Williams University, “risk aversion is a natural trait of two large firms in this situation.” It’s also dangerous whenever a jury is involved.
One of the largest cash settlements in a defamation case has ever been reached, at about $800 million.
In order to put the distribution into perspective, the parent company, Fox Corporation, disclosed net income of $1.23 billion for the most recent fiscal year.
According to recent corporate filings, it also has sizable cash reserves of $4 billion.
According to Forbes magazine, Rupert Murdoch and his family, who run the News Corp media empire that includes Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, and The Times of London, are thought to be worth $17.6 billion.
According to the company’s legal counsel, the cost of pursuing the action and winning may also have been taken into consideration.
The problems with Fox’s reporting on the 2020 presidential race, though, won’t be resolved for a while.
Another voting technology company, Smartmatic, is suing it again for defamation and is seeking $2.7 billion.
The $787.5 million Fox settlement may only be the beginning for Dominion. There are still cases pending against numerous of former President Donald Trump’s cronies, as well as against Newsmax and OAN, Fox’s smaller competitors.