AD Vision Charges FUNimation of Monopolizing
In the latest major turn in FUNimation’s ongoing suit seeking approximately $8 million in unpaid licensing royalties plus interest, costs, and attorneys’ fees from AD Vision and its current incarnations as Section23 affiliates, AD Vision has filed a countersuit charging that FUNimation’s lawsuit is “the culmination of Funimation’s illicit scheme designed to obliterate competition in the market for Japanese anime.” ADV claims that FUNimation “willfully and intentionally” sabotaged ADV’s working relationship with Japan’s ARM Corporation, leading to ADV’s supposed default of licensing payments. ADV’s counterclaim against FUNimation asserts that FUNimation is in violation of Texas state anti-trust laws for being “”dangerously close to” achieving a monopoly in domestic anime distribution.
FUNimation has publicly responded to the counterclaim with the statement:
We believe these counterclaims are frivolous and will soon be dismissed. Funimation is obviously not a monopoly, has not sought a monopoly, and has never been in violation of any antitrust laws. Rather, these claims were brought in a transparent attempt to gain leverage in the case because the defendants lack any defense to Funimation’s original claims.
Seemingly as a result of ADV’s antitrust accusation, the lawsuit has been transferred from Harris County, Texas district court to Southern District of Texas, Houston Division federal court.
Personal thoughts: when Sentai Filmworks has been dramatically outpacing FUNimation in title acquisitions this year, I find it difficult to accept their claim that they’re being pushed out of the licensing market.