th Alt Weeklies: The New York Times' excellent media writer, David Carr, has the scoop (Langfield's LAexaminer summary is here ). The jist: Both alt-weekly chains quietly signed a consent decree with the Justice Department Saturday, and
each company is required to aid the opening of new weekly papers in Los Angeles and Cleveland by selling assets, including the rights to the names of the closed newspapers — The Cleveland Free Times and The New Times Los Angeles — as well as lists of advertisers, office equipment and newspaper racks. Each company will pay a fine of $375,000 to the State of California and a much smaller amount to the State of Ohio. [...]

[T]he two companies must divest those assets within 30 days to "an acquirer or acquirers acceptable to the United States in its sole discretion." If a sale is not made in 30 days, a trustee will be appointed to oversee a purchase.

Boy, this year has started off on an interesting foot....

Posted by at January 26, 2003 08:51 PM
Comments

Um, new L.A. Examiner gets free newsracks, list of advertisers, case of beer ...

Postquirer or acquirers acceptable to the United States in its sole discretion." If a sale is not made in 30 days, a trustee will be appointed to oversee a purchase. Boy, this year has started off on an interesting foot....

Posted by at January 26, 2003 08:51 PM
Comments

Um, new L.A. Examiner gets free newsracks, list of advertisers, case of beer ...

Posted by: Howard Owens at January 27, 2003 10:33 AM

wouldn't it be funny if the buyer of the new weeklies were, say, the Hearst or Gannett corporations?

Those danged monopolies oppressing the little guy!

Here's what I don't understand. These weeklies are all free. Given that the purpose of antitrust laws is to prevent companies from harming the consumer by extracting monopoly rents, what harm could these weeklies possibly be doing to the consumer?

Yes these companies had high market share, but only if you defined their "market" as not including conventional local newspapers, which is absurd.

I find the alt weekly's where I live mostly unreadable, so I don't *really* care this issue per se. But I do care about abuses of power by federal prosecutors, and this seems like one.

Posted by: roublen vesseau at January 27, 2003 04:18 PM
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