Dominion Voting Systems has settled its high-profile defamation case with Fox Corp. for $787.5 million -- a result that had been expected over the past two days.
A Fox statement said executives issued a release saying: "We acknowledge the court's rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false.” It added: “This settlement reflects Fox's continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards.”
John Poulos, chief executive officer of Dominion, told reporters in a press conference: “Throughout this process, we have sought accountability." He added: "Truthful reporting in the media is essential to our democracy." Justin Nelson, a Dominion lawyer: "Lies have consequences." Dominion originally asked for $1.6 billion. The settlement was reached on what was supposed to be the first day of the trial.
Dominion had argued its reputation was damaged over unproven conspiracy theories that its voting equipment machines helped switch votes for the 2020 Presidential election from former President Donald Trump to Joe Biden.
Evidence was disclosed from Dominion through depositions, and via emails, texts, and phone calls, that on-air Fox prime-time hosts including Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham as well as Fox Corp executives and producers knew otherwise -- that these on-air assertions were lies.
It is not known whether the settlement would include on-air apologies in the future from its high profile prime-time hosts.
Earlier in the process, Judge Eric Davis -- a judge of the Superior Court of the State of Delaware -- ruled that the case could go to trial because it was "crystal clear" that none of the allegations about Dominion aired on Fox by Trump allies were true.
During a deposition, Chairman of Fox Corp. Rupert Murdoch testified he believed the 2020 election was fair and was not stolen from Trump.
Fox's efforts were focused around the belief that it never said those allegation were true -- only that the allegations were made.
Internally, Dominion depositions from Fox Corp. executives were frightened -- and although they believed the conspiracies were entirely false, the network could lose its big, longtime audience to new conservative cable TV news network competitors.
Over the most recent 12-month period, the Fox News Channel is estimated to have pulled in $1.12 billion in national TV advertising revenue, according to iSpot.tv, and an estimated $1.7 billion in annual carriage license fees from pay TV providers, according to the Pew Research Center.