FOX News and voting technology company Dominion have been engaged in a years-long legal battle over alleged defamation claims that the media giant made regarding the company’s technology in the 2020 election.
Dominion has been at the center of a number of election fraud-related controversies and has been criticized by top conservative lawmakers and conservative media.
The trial, which was only in its beginning stages, resulted in multiple key admission from Dominion, including that the company warned election officials of ‘major security issues’ in the runup to the 2020 Presidential election.
On Tuesday, FOX News settled with Dominion for $787.5 million in relation to the defamation claims.
The amount is less than half of the $1.6 billion that Dominion initially sought in 2021 when they filed the lawsuit.
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FOX News, for its part, contended that it did not make false allegations about Dominion and was simply repeating what politicians such as President Trump said about the voting technology company.
Dominion claimed that FOX’s broadcasts harmed the company’s reputation.
The settlement will prevent top FOX News personalities such as Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson from having to testify at the trial.
Fox News reached a $787.5 million settlement Tuesday in a defamation case brought by voting technology company Dominion that alleged the network knowingly aired false claims linking its machines to a conspiracy to undermine the 2020 US presidential election.
The agreement to end the case avoided what most experts suggested would have been a damaging, high-profile trial for the conservative channel in which owner Rupert Murdoch would have been compelled to testify in open court.
Judge Eric Davis announced the last-minute agreement after the 12 jurors had been selected and the Delaware Superior Court was readying to hear opening arguments.
Dominion’s co-lead counsel Justin Nelson told reporters outside court that the settlement “represents vindication and accountability.”
Fox’s lawyers did not stop to speak to assembled media, leaving the network to publish a brief statement saying it was “pleased” to have ended the dispute.
“We acknowledge the court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false,” it added.
The trial had been due to test the limits of free speech rights for media in America, even if wilfully broadcasting misinformation.