An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The Department of Justice today sued DirecTV and its owner, ATT, saying the satellite TV company colluded with competitors during contentious negotiations to broadcast Los Angeles Dodgers games. Dodgers games have been blacked out in much of Los Angeles because pay-TV providers have been unwilling to pay the price demanded by SportsNet LA, the Dodgers channel operated by the baseball franchise and Time Warner Cable. But the DOJ's antitrust division placed the blame for this situation on ATT and DirecTV. In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in California, it alleges that DirecTV was a "ringleader" in a coordinated scheme with cable companies Cox and Charter, according to a DOJ announcement. ATT completed its purchase of DirecTV in July 2015, but the complaint covers a dispute that began before the merger and continues to this day. The Dodgers channel owners offered carriage licenses to the pay-TV companies in January 2014, but the channel is still not available on DirecTV, Cox, or ATT's wireline TV service. (Games are now available on Charter, which purchased Time Warner Cable this year.) The lawsuit "alleges that DirecTV unlawfully exchanged competitively-sensitive information with Cox, Charter, and ATT during the companies' negotiations for the right to telecast the Dodgers Channel," the DOJ announcement said. "Specifically, the complaint alleges that DirecTV and each of these competitors agreed to and did exchange non-public information about their companies' ongoing negotiations to telecast the Dodgers Channel, as well as their companies' future plans to carry -- or not carry -- the channel." The companies used this strategy "to obtain bargaining leverage and to reduce the risk that they would lose subscribers if they decided not to carry the channel but a competitor chose to do so." The information these companies learned from each other "through these unlawful agreements" was a major factor in their decision not to carry the Dodgers channel, the complaint said. ATT said it will fight the lawsuit and blamed Time Warner Cable for charging unreasonably high prices. The asking price was reportedly about $5 a month per subscriber regardless of how many people watch the games.