Peloton's countersuit against 14 music publishers claiming copyright infringement against the at-home exercise company has been dismissed by a federal judge.
The $370 million lawsuit, originally filed by the publishers last March, alleged that Peloton -- which manufactures exercise bikes that stream instructor-led fitness classes via built-in touch screens -- had used more than 1,000 copyright musical compositions without obtaining needed licenses. In its April 30, 2019, counterclaim, Peloton accused the publishers of anti-competitive behavior by engaging in a “coordinated effort” to fix prices and alleged that the National Music Publishers Association had conspired to prevent it from striking deals with the individual companies. The publishers and NMPA filed a motion to dismiss the counterclaim on Oct. 25.
In a 25-page decision filed Wednesday (Jan. 29), U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote found that while Peloton sufficiently established a coordinated effort by the publishers to refuse the company sync licenses, it failed to identify a “relevant market” to support its anti-competition claim. Since Peloton previously entered into licensing agreements with other music publishers, Cote argues, it cannot rightly file a claim on antitrust grounds.