Justice Department goes to bat for beleaguered Dodgers fans

LOS ANGELES (AP) The U.S. Department of Justice is suing AT&T because its DirectTV unit allegedly orchestrated a backroom deal with competitors to not carry the sole channel that broadcasts Dodgers baseball in Los Angeles.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles federal court accuses DirecTV of swapping information with Cox Communications Inc., Charter Communications Inc. and AT&T – before it acquired DirecTV – during negotiations to carry the SportsNet LA, the network owned by the Dodgers.

The complaint says the companies made the agreements to prevent competitors from offering the channel to lure customers. Dodger fans were bitter they could only watch games through Time Warner Cable the past three seasons.

AT&T's lawyer says it didn't want to pass inflated prices on to customers for a channel devoted only to the Dodgers.