Hearst/MediaNews: Reilly Has No Right to Challenge Anti-Trust Laws

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By: E&P Staff

Attorneys with Hearst and MediaNews Group told a U.S. District court that San Francisco businessman Clint Reilly has no right to challenge newspaper antitrust laws because Reilly ?lacks standing as a reader,? reported the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday.

Reilly launched a suit against the two companies claiming that they would create a local monopoly. MediaNews Group, which owns several Bay Area newspapers including the Oakland Tribune, and Hearst, which owns the Chronicle, bought the San Jose Mercury News and other papers from McClatchy in a complicated transaction last year.

Reilly is seeking to block the deal alleging it will harm readers and advertisers.

MediaNews Group and Hearst have asked the court to dismiss the case. The suit is slated for April 30.

In a Friday filing, the Chronicle?s Bob Egelko reported lawyers for both media companies said, ?Mr. Reilly lacks standing to seek an injunction based on some amorphous injury caused by a reduction of local reporters or editorial voices.?

Reilly said in pretrial disposition that readers ?depend on being exposed to as many different points of view as possible, in order to be fully informed as citizens,? and the Hearst/MediaNews Group deal would prevent that, according to the Chronicle.

In 2000, Reilly sued Hearst, challenging its $660 million acquisition of the Chronicle.

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