View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

Fox agrees $787.5m last-minute settlement in Dominion libel case

Fox said it acknowledged "the court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false".

By Bron Maher

Fox Corporation will pay Dominion Voting Systems $787.5m (£630m) to settle a landmark libel suit brought by the election technology company.

Dominion had been seeking $1.6bn over claims repeatedly aired on Fox News suggesting its voting machines were involved in a conspiracy to rig the 2020 US presidential election.

Rumours a settlement was imminent have abounded since Sunday, when the defamation trial’s Monday start date was suddenly pushed back one day. A 12-person jury was successfully selected on Tuesday, but reportedly failed to return from lunch. The FT reports that “after a lengthy wait” Judge Eric Davis appeared and told members of the press gathered in the courtroom that the parties had reached a settlement.

In a statement, Fox said: “We acknowledge the court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false” and that the settlement “reflects Fox’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards”.

Justin Nelson, Dominion’s lead counsel, said outside the courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware that the payment “was a strong message of accountability, along with a statement acknowledging the court’s order that these were false [claims] – and this has all along been about those goals for us”.

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Had it gone to trial the case may have seen Fox proprietor Rupert Murdoch called to testify, as well as high-profile Fox names such as host Tucker Carlson. Internal Fox communications obtained during the discovery process and published by the Dominion team already shed rare light on the inner workings at the influential, controversial news network.

Content from our partners
Pugpig named best media technology partner of 2024 by AOP
Cannes Lions: The world's best creativity all in one place
L'Equipe signs content syndication deal with The Content Exchange

Under US law, to win a libel suit against a news publisher a plaintiff would have to demonstrate not only that an outlet spread false information but that it had acted with “actual malice” in doing so.

Despite that high bar, some commentators suggested Dominion had a better than usual chance of winning its defamation case. Judge Davis had already ruled last month that 20 statements made about Dominion on Fox News in 2020 were false.

The settlement, worth approximately half of what Dominion was suing for, is believed to be the largest libel settlement in history. The only case that has been more costly is phone-hacking, which has cost News Corp more than £1bn in total over the past decade.

[Read more: Why a lack of ‘actual malice’ scuppered Sarah Palin’s New York Times libel suit]

Topics in this article : ,

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network