Appellate court upholds order blocking DirecTV ads


A US appeals court has upheld a lower court's decision that prohibits DirecTV from airing ads that claimed superior service in markets where Time Warner Cable operates. The ads, which featured ex-Star Trek actor William Shatner and pop star Jessica Simpson, aired last December and in January. They ended with the tag: "For an HD picture that can't be beat, get DirecTV."

Time Warner Cable filed the lawsuit in December, saying the DirecTV campaign asserted false advertising and deceptive business practices. In February, the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York granted a preliminary injunction against DirecTV preventing it from running the ads in Time Warner Cable's markets. DirecTV was also ordered then to take down any similar ads on its website and other sites.

The court ruling may not have much real impact. DirecTV said late yesterday that the parties had already reached a mutually acceptable out of court settlement.