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Cable TV Antitrust Case Gets a New Appeals Panel

(CN) - The 9th Circuit on Monday withdrew a ruling that had doomed a class action alleging antitrust violations in the refusal of NBC, Viacom, Time Warner and other leading television programmers to offer cable channels individually instead of in bundles.

A three-judge panel of 9th Circuit judges sided with a lower court when it upheld dismissal of the case in June for failure to state a claim. That decision called the lawsuit a "consumer protection class action masquerading as an antitrust suit."

The original three-judge panel included the late Judge Pamela Rymer, who died on Sept. 21 from cancer.

In a brief order published Monday, the federal appeals court in San Francisco withdrew the June opinion and told the court clerk to "reconstitute the panel by drawing a third judge." The order also renders any petitions for rehearing moot.

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