The channel has agreed to the payout to the voting systems company, but it might have coverage for that.
Fox News has agreed to a tremendous $787.5 million settlement payment to Dominion Voting Systems, though its insurance policies might provide coverage for much of that stunning amount.
The payment represents the largest publicly known US defamation case settlement in history.
As considerable as the figure is, it is unlikely to cause significant damage to Fox News. Fox Corp. reportedly already had almost $4.1 billion in cash available according to a statement made by its CEO Lachlan Murdoch when commenting in February. The company also owns assets such as the Tubi streamer platform and broadcast network. As of the start of last week, it had market capitalization of $17.61 billion. Moreover, it is likely that coverage from its insurance policies will lay down another layer of protection against the payment.
“This is a staggering amount even for a company like Fox and hugely embarrassing,” said an unnamed former Fox exec quoted by Business Insider and who spoke anonymously for professional reasons. “And there’s unlikely to be any accountability for what happened.”
Insurance policies could ensure that Fox News survives this settlement mainly financially unscathed.
While it is unlikely that this will cause serious financial harm to Fox News, a senior media industry exec said in the Insider report that “the reputational risk for Fox was big.”
Still, this is hardly Fox News’ first rodeo when it comes to large legal settlements and payouts. It commonly agrees to settle lawsuits against it in order to bury scandals and overcome controversies. For instance, Fox has agreed to a “derivatives” settlement of $90 million in 2017 against company officers with respect to sexual harassment at the company, according to Reuters reports. It also paid $20 million to Gretchen Carlson to settle harassment claims.
Insurance policies typically cover this type of settlement for Fox News said the Insider report. That said, the specifics regarding Fox News’ libel coverage have not been publicly disclosed. As of the writing of this article, it wasn’t yet made known how the payout would be handled.