Verizon is launching a lawsuit against Time Warner Cable, accusing the operator of false advertising in an attempt to sway customers away from Verizon’s video services. Verizon alleges that recent Time Warner TV ads falsely suggest that Verizon’s FiOS fibre optic service requires a satellite dish for use and does not allow composite video, internet and telephone access. The suit also claims that Warner illegally asserts that its network is superior to Verizon’s.
Verizon is calling for an injunction to be placed on Time Warner to ban airing of the ads and is demanding a new series of ads be created to retract the false claims made. The suit also claims unspecified punitive damages and legal fees, with Verizon saying that the damage caused to its business is irreparable if customers are tricked into the time-consuming process of switching providers.
Time Warner says the suit is without merit and will strenously defend its ads.
The suit mirrors one brought by Time Warner against DirecTV last year, in which DirecTV used actors William Shatner and Jessica Simpson to claim that its HDTV services were superior to those offered by Time Warner. The suit saw the ads blocked, with Time Warner’s claims being upheld by a US District Court. An appeal by DirecTV saw some of the ads unblocked but the two operators came to a mutually satisfactory settlement on undisclosed terms following the legal action.