With Supreme Court loss, Aereo investors may be out nearly $100 million

The Supreme Court ruled that video streaming service provider Aereo is in violation of copyright law when it streams over-the-air TV channels to consumers. The Post's Brian Fung explains what the ruling means and how it will affect you. (Jason Aldag/The Washington Post)


Television streaming start-up Aereo had a lot riding on Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling over whether it owed re-transmission fees to broadcasters.

"If it’s a total, straight-up loss, then it’s dead," Aereo chief executive Chet Kanojia told the Verge in April. "We’re done."

Unluckily for Kanojia and the investors who put $97 million into the company, it was a straight-up loss: In a 6-3 ruling, the court sided with the broadcasters.

In a statement after the ruling, Kanojia didn't comment on specific plans, but did suggest that there still may be a future for the company. "Our work is not done," he said. "We will continue to fight for our consumers and fight to create innovative technologies that have a meaningful and positive impact on our world.”

Barry Diller, who was a major backer of the company through IAC/InterActiveCorp, argued that the ruling was not a big financial loss for his company -- but was a big loss for consumers.

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government.
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Andrea Peterson · June 25, 2014