Netflix, Hulu Escape California City Video Service Provider Fees

Netflix and Hulu have won another court case against a local government trying to impose taxes on the streaming giants similar to the ones cable TV companies pay for using public infrastructure. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a Los Angeles County judge ruled Wednesday that the city of Lancester doesn’t have the right to sue because Netflix and Hulu do not own or operate infrastructure on public property.

In her ruling, LA County Superior Court Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos wrote that there’s “no language” in the statute that “authorizes a local entity to bring an action compelling a non-franchise holder to apply for a state franchise under [the Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act] or to comply with its requirements.”

Netflix and Hulu have also already won similar legal arguments in Arkansas, Nevada, and Texas. According to the Associated Press, the streamers have been winning these cases and escaping taxes and video service fees on the strength of arguments similar to the one presented in Lancaster–that the streaming services don’t use public infrastructure.

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Author: David Wolinsky