Disney is set to launch its standalone Star + streaming service in Latin America in August, but Starz has filed complaints in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina alleging that Disney is undermining its brand identity and that the soon-to-be service launched will only confuse consumers.
In an English translation of the complaints seen by The edge and previously reported by The Envelope, Starz argues that Disney’s “Star Plus” service – which will host content from Disney, FX, 20th Century Studios, and National Geographic, as well as Star originals – looks too phonetically like its own StarzPlay offering also available in the regions. where he lodged his complaints.
Starz, a premium cable offering and streaming app, has been operating under the name since the mid-1990s and is now present in 58 countries. Its own service, StarzPlay, has been available in Latin America since 2019. Disney’s Star, a service offered in international markets and integrated with Disney Plus, was officially launched in December. Star +, meanwhile, is slated to launch as a single service offering in Latin America on August 31.
“The two companies are currently direct competitors in the Mexican market, which causes unfair competition, especially considering that we are talking about the same services,” says the complaint filed in Mexico.
Contacted for comment, a spokesperson for Starz said the company “had no choice but to defend its rights and try to prevent further confusion among customers by filing trademark infringement lawsuits” at Brazil, Mexico and Argentina against Disney for its use of “Star” and various iterations of the service title.
Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The company announced in May that its Star + service would be officially rolled out to consumers in late August. At the time, Diego Lerner, president of The Walt Disney Company Latin America, said in a statement that the service would provide “a personalized experience never seen before.”
“The strength of the content, which will include everything ESPN, makes Star + a unique and relevant offering with its own identity that will become a recognized digital service, independent of Disney Plus,” said Lerner. “That said, his arrival will represent a complementary service to Disney Plus and consolidate The Walt Disney Company’s presence in the streaming market in Latin America. “