“Fox News”, a once strong supporter of ex-president Donald Trump, has reached a settlement with voting machine maker Dominion in a defamation case over 2020 election coverage, a US judge announced on Tuesday. “The parties have resolved their case,” Eric Davis told the Delaware Superior Court.
The judge announced that there would be no trial in the US$1.6 billion (€1.5 billion) lawsuit. A lawyer for Dominion said that Fox News had settled the case for US$ 787.5 million.
Rupert Murdock's Fox News said that it was pleased to have reached the amicable settlement.
We acknowledge the court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false. This settlement reflects Fox’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards, Fox Corp said.
We are hopeful that our decision to resolve this dispute with Dominion amicably, instead of the acrimony of a divisive trial, allows the country to move forward from these issues, the broadcaster said.
Dominion CEO John Poulos welcomed the settlement, calling it historic.
Fox has admitted to telling lies about Dominion that caused enormous damage to my company, our employees and our customers, Poulos said. Nothing can ever make up for that.
Throughout this process, we have sought accountability and believe the evidence brought to light through this case underscores the consequences of spreading and endorsing lies, he said.
Truthful reporting in the media is essential to our democracy, Poulos declared.
The defamation case pertained to claims aired by Fox that Dominion voting machines used in the US 2020 presidential elections had rigged the outcome in favor of Joe Biden, who defeated former president Donald Trump.
In February court filings, Dominion cited internal communications in which Fox Corp's Rupert Murdoch and other prominent figures in the company privately acknowledged that the claims of vote-rigging were false. Dominion filed the lawsuit against Fox in 2021.
The primary question for jurors was to be whether Fox knowingly spread false information or recklessly disregarded the truth. For a defamation case to succeed in the US, the standard of actual malice must be met.
Fox News is the US' most-watched cable news network, according to the Nielsen data firm.