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Aereo founder and CEO Chet Kanojia stands next to a server array of antennas as he holds an antenna between his fingers.Bebeto Matthews/The Associated Press

Online streaming service Aereo says that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, saying an unfavourable ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court was too difficult to overcome.

In June, the Supreme Court ruled that Aereo operates much like a cable TV company. As a result, the court said the service violates copyright law unless Aereo pays broadcasters licensing fees for offering TV station programs to customers' tablets, phones and other gadgets.

CEO Chet Kanojia said in a statement Friday on the company's website that the Supreme Court decision "effectively changed the laws that had governed Aereo's technology, creating regulatory and legal uncertainty."

The ruling was a victory for broadcasters such as CBS Corp., Comcast Corp.'s, NBC, Walt Disney Co.'s, ABC and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.'s Fox network.

Aereo, which raised $95.6-million in financing, suspended its streaming service at the end of June and cut jobs.

The company listed total assets of $20.5-million and debt of about $4.2-million in its filing. Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp has a 23.30 per cent stake in Aereo.

Kanojia said that the Chapter 11 filing will allow Aereo Inc. to maximize the value of its business while avoiding the cost and distraction of litigation.

With files from Reuters

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