Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Court backs TV Millionaire verdict

A contestant on the US version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (AP Photo/Disney-ABC Domestic Television)

A US appeal court has upheld a £200 million verdict over profits from TV game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? rejecting a request by Walt Disney for a new trial.

A jury decided in 2010 that Disney hid the show's profits from the ITV show's creators, London-based Celador International.

The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Los Angeles found no issues with the verdict or the judge's rulings in the case.

"I am pleased that justice has been done," Celador chairman Paul Smith said.

Disney did not immediately comment on the decision.

The ruling comes more than two years after the jury ruled in Celador's favour after a lengthy trial that featured evidence from several top Disney executives.

Celador sued in 2004, claiming Disney was using creative accounting to hide profits from the show, which first ran in the United States from August 1999 to May 2002 and was a huge hit for ABC.

The jury found that Celador was owed 269.2 million dollars, and a judge later added 50 million dollars in interest to the judgment.

The appeal court determined the verdict was not "grossly excessive or monstrous" and that it was not based on speculation or guesswork.

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Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Aries:

Responsibilities involving insurance, inheritances and taxes will command your attention. Don't put these matters off a moment longer. You may be busy with work and family, but these duties will never let up. If you continue to spend all of your energy on these things, you'll miss a golden opportunity. Ask colleagues and relatives for help with mundane errands while you focus on the long term financial future. If you don't protect your economic interests, nobody else will.More