Thursday, August 07, 2003

Antitrust News: Clear Channel Cleared

The Justice Department should take note that merely yelling "antitrust" in the direction of Clear Channel won't make judges cower in terror:
Clear Channel Communications Inc. said a district court Wednesday denied a motion by Spanish Broadcasting System Inc. for reconsideration of an antitrust lawsuit filed against Clear Channel and Hispanic Broadcasting Corp.

According to Clear Channel's quarterly report filed Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the court's ruling concludes the case in the district court.

Spanish Broadcasting filed a lawsuit against the company and Hispanic Broadcasting in June 2002 alleging that Clear Channel was in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Miami-based Spanish Broadcasting also made various other claims such as unfair trade practices and defamation.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, was dismissed on Jan. 31.

On Feb. 14, Spanish Broadcasting filed a motion for reconsideration of the court's order.
Meanwhile, the FCC continues to delay approval of the Clear Channel-Hispanic Broadcasting deal. No doubt FCC chairman Powell is looking for some way to appease Clear Channel's opponents—a coalition of Democrats and Telemundo-owner NBC—before ending his agency's antitrust review, which has now taken more than six months.

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