4 IN cities sue major streaming services for unpaid franchise fees

4 IN cities sue major streaming services for unpaid franchise fees

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — Four Indiana cities are suing video streaming services, including Netflix and Hulu, seeking to require them to pay the same franchise fees to local governments that cable companies must pay.

The class-action lawsuit filed this month argues that major video streaming services must pay a 5% franchise fee of gross revenue to the localities where their customers reside because of the use of internet equipment in the public right of way to transmit programming.

The Northwest Indiana Times reported the lawsuit demands Netflix, Disney, Hulu, DirectTV and Dish Network be required to pay unpaid fees for past services and all future fees required by law. It was filed by the cities of Valparaiso, Fishers, Indianapolis and Evansville.

An estimate of how much money is owed statewide was not shown.

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