Court Battles

Fox News hits back at Smartmatic’s financial standing, says network legally protected in counterclaim

Fox News to open DC bureau
Alex Kroke/Fox News

Fox News hit back at voting systems provider Smartmatic’s financial standing and argued that the network was protected by New York state law and the First Amendment in a counterclaim filed in response to a multibillion-dollar defamation lawsuit.

Fox News is facing a $2.7 billion lawsuit filed by Smartmatic following the 2020 election, which argues that claims that the voting systems provider was involved in widespread election fraud, allegedly broadcast by Fox News, hurt the company.

Fox News’s counterclaim called Smartmatic seeking $2.7 billion in damages “extravagant” and argued that the company was in poor financial standing.

“As Smartmatic’s own public filings reflect, by the time the 2020 Presidential election rolled around, it was no financial juggernaut on the cusp of earning billions in revenue. To the contrary, Smartmatic had been in the red each of the preceding four years, combining for nearly $100 million in losses, and its revenues had not exceeded $200 million since 2013,” the court filing said.

“Yet by Smartmatic’s telling, it stood to make nearly $2 billion in annual revenue in 2025—a figure more than four times its highest reported revenues within the past nine years and more than 16 times its reported revenues in 2020,” the filing continued.

The counterclaim filing also said that Fox News’s coverage was protected by the First Amendment and New York’s Anti-SLAPP law, which protects legal actions of “any communication in a place open to the public or a public forum in connection with an issue of public interest” or “any other lawful conduct in furtherance of the exercise of the constitutional right of free speech in connection with an issue of public interest,” according to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

The court filing claimed that Smartmartic was challenging the New York state law, and that its complaint “also rests on allegations that have no basis in fact.”

Erik Connolly, an attorney for Smartmatic, pushed back against the counterclaim filing, calling it “ironic.”

“It is ironic that Fox claims that Smartmatic’s lawsuit is without basis after the Court found that the lawsuit had a substantial basis in law and fact,” Connolly said in a statement. “The decisions of courts across the country regarding these defamatory statements speak for themselves; and, the courts are saying something very different than Fox.”

The development comes after a New York judge ruled earlier this month that parts of Smartmatic’s lawsuit against Fox News could move forward.

The judge tossed out claims against Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, but allowed other claims against the network, host Maria Bartiromo and former host Lou Dobbs to continue.

Tags 2020 election Fox News jeanine pirro Lou Dobbs Maria Bartiromo Smartmatic

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