Cablevision, Verizon End Ad Dispute

Battle Centered on WiFi Speeds, Ads Targeting FiOS

Cablevision Systems and Verizon Communications have agreed to settle litigation that centered on ads about Verizon’s WiFi-related speed claims and ads from Cablevision that took aim at the telco’s FiOS service.

The companies each released this statement:  “Cablevision and Verizon have resolved their disputes to both parties’ satisfaction.” They did not elaborate on the terms of the settlement.

According to the New York Law Journal, the companies filed a stipulation of dismissal with prejudice on Monday (September 28), and Eastern District Magistrate Judge Gary Brown signed it the following day.

In August, U.S. District Court in Islip, New York, issued a temporary restraining order that required Cablevision Systems to temporarily pull certain “anti-FiOS advertising” while also affirming Verizon’s WiFi-related speed claims. At the time, Cablevision noted that the judge did not rule that the MSO must pull all anti-FiOS ads, but that the temporary injunction is limited to ads asserting that Verizon is a “liar,” or tells “lies.”

In the ads tied to the case, Cablevision targeted elements related to telco’s fiber-optic network, FiOS speeds, and the capabilities of its DVR products. The court also sustained the telco’s “Fastest Available WiFi claim,” which was at the center of a lawsuit that Cablevision filed against Verizon in January in the federal court for the Eastern district of New York. Cablevision, which recently launched a WiFi-only phone service called Freewheel and is now in the process of being acquired by  Altice Group, argued that Verizon’s claims were false, deceptive and designed to mislead consumers, and that Verizon’s in-home routers were not faster than Cablevision’s Optimum Smart Routers.

In June, Cablevision, dropped the WiFi lawsuit so it could combine it with the case filed in the Islip court involving the TV ads that were targeting FiOS.