World Cup Bribery Scandal Leads to $95 Million Grupo Televisa Settlement

Plaintiffs allege that bribery and not clever tactics scored big contract

Case Name: Grupo Televisa

Settlement Fund:  $95,000,000

Claim Filing Deadline: August 8, 2023

Class Period: 4/11/2013 -- 11/17/2017

Symbol: TV

Grupo Televisa, the world's biggest Spanish language media company, scored quite a goal when they landed the broadcasting rights to the 2018, 2022, 2026, and 2030 Soccer World Cups-- aka, the world's biggest sporting event. World Cups are a main source of revenue for the company, and in their class action complaint against Grupo Televisa, plaintiffs claim that, "The Company has gone so far as to brag to investors about its contracting prowess in achieving media rights for these coveted events."

According to plaintiffs, it was not clever negotiating or the superiority of its broadcasting skills that secured these contracts. "Unbeknownst to investors," plaintiffs claimed in their Amended Class Action Complant, "it was not Televisa’s ingenuity but its bribery that landed the media rights to this crown jewel of sporting events. Televisa used a wholly owned Swiss subsidiary, Mountrigi Management Group Ltd. (“Mountrigi”), located near FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, to carry out and conceal its scheme to bribe FIFA executives to illegally obtain the broadcasting rights... To cover its tracks, Televisa cooked its books for years – and got away with it until auditors discovered its skimming scheme in late 2017 after criminal testimony and ledgers of payments came to light."

Plaintiffs allege the bribes totaled "some $160 million." On October 26, 2017, The New York Times ran a story titled, “How Did a Tiny Swiss Company Quietly Secure Valuable World Cup TV Rights?” Plaintiffs argue that "Literally within hours of the publication" the CEO and CFO of Televisa resigned, and the share price suffered a nasty bicycle kick: "After this news, Televisa ADRs closed at $22.54 per share, down 5.6% on trading volume that exceeded 12.4 million shares."

This settlement is one of many this year over $50 million. There is also the $109 million Cardinal Healh settlement, the $107.5 million Micro Focus settlement, and the $300 million Wells Fargo settlement-- among others. So far the total settlement pool for settlements with deadlines in 2023 is over $2.5 billion, and we expect it to come close to (or exceed) $5 billion by year's end. If you have any questions about this litigation or any of the hundreds of other cases for which we are filing claims, then please give us a call at 312-204-6970.

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