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News Corp Was Sued by Valassis Now In Antitrust Jury Trial Its Outreach to K-Mart Cited

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 29 – It was late on a Friday night, on May 12, when News Corporation sued CB Neptune Holdings, LLC. 

 In the docket of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, found by Inner City Press, there is was: a complaint filed by Gibson Dunn, seeking a declaratory judgment,
News Corporation sued CB Neptune Holdings, LLC, et al., 21-cv-4610.

 Quick research found in a News Corp SEC filing: "Item 2.01    Completion of Acquisition or Disposition of Assets. On May 5, 2020, News Corporation (the “Company”) completed the previously announced sale of its News America Marketing business (“NAM”) to CB Neptune Holdings, LLC and CB Neptune Canada Sub Inc., affiliates of Charlesbank Capital Partners (the “Transaction”). The aggregate purchase price for the Transaction consists of (a) up to approximately $235 million, comprised of (i) $50 million in cash at closing, subject to working capital and other adjustments, less cash reinvested to acquire a 5% equity interest in the business at closing, and (ii) additional deferred cash payments payable on or before the fifth anniversary of closing in an aggregate amount of between $125 million and approximately $185 million, depending on the timing of such payments, and (b) a warrant to purchase up to an additional 10% equity interest in the business, which is exercisable on or prior to the seventh anniversary of closing. In the Transaction, the Company retained certain liabilities relating to NAM, including those arising from its ongoing legal proceedings with Valassis Communications, Inc."

 On June 9, SDNY Judge P. Kevin Castel held a final pre-trial conference in the Valassis v. News Corp proceeding, and Inner City Press live tweeted it, here:

In run-up to antitrust jury trial in Valassis versus News Corp for allegedly locking it out of the in-store promotion advertisement market,  SDNY Judge Castel is holding a pre-trial conference.

Judge Castel: You'll notice that the cell phone rules in the courthouse have been suspended [ended?] and you can discrete text. The witness box will be sprayed down between witnesses.

 Judge Castel: I don't expect there to be major changes before, say, mid July. So these will be the rules. If you run out of witnesses, that's tantamount to resting. I'm very jealous of the jurors' time.

 Judge Castel: You asked about bringing food in. You can send someone out to buy it, or it can be delivered below. That's your business. The cafeteria is open on the 8th floor of the courthouse. Exhibits can only be in electronic form.

  On June 29, the trial was underway on the 23rd floor of 500 Pearl Street. Inner City Press went up and covered it. Valassis' witness described being nixed by News Corp which reached out to the highest levels of K-Mart. Judge Castel repeated told the witness to answer only the question asked, and kept it rolling to 5 pm, then past after the jury left. Watch this site.

This case is Valassis Communications, Incorporated v. News Corporation et al., 17-cv-7378 (Castel).


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