Monday, March 19, 2007

Chains tell readers to butt out of dispute

Individual readers have no legal right to challenge newspaper acquisitions under antitrust laws, Hearst and MediaNews told the judge in a lawsuit over MediaNews Group's the recent purchases of the San Jose Mercury News and the Contra Costa Times. According to the Chron, the two newspaper chains filed briefs arguing that San Francisco businessman Clint Reilly lacks standing as a reader to challenge the MediaNews acquisitions. Reilly is trying to undo MediaNews' $736.8 million purchase last summer of the two papers, aruging that the deal will result in higher prices for subscribers and advertisers and fewer editorial voices. Reilly's lawsuit is set to go to trial April 30 before Judge Susan Illston in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. The chains have asked for a hearing on their request April 6.

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