ST. LOUIS –– A service provider fee dispute between the city of Creve Coeur and two broadcast satellite companies moved to federal court on Aug. 29.
Creve Coeur city officials initiated the class action lawsuit against Dish Network and DirecTV last month over the companies failure to pay five years worth of fees required under the state's Video Service Providers Act.
This law allows the companies to receive immediate authorizations to provide service to customers and enhance competition. But the companies are also required to pay fees to the city governments.
Creve Coeur sued on behalf of municipalities all over Missouri who made similar claims, which could be up to 640 class members.
The lawsuit claims the companies owe 5 percent of gross sales -- an amount that could top $1.5 million.
Dish Network and DirecTV asked to move the lawsuit to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, because the litigation exceeds $75,000 and the parties' differing state residencies. Dish Network is based in Colorado. DirecTV is based in California.
Dish Network, the fourth-largest multichannel video service provider, also owns the internet service Sling TV. DirecTV is a subsidiary of AT&T.
City officials seek damages including the service provider fees, interest and attorney fees.