For immediate release: June 29, 2000
Contact: Paul Shinoff, Ken Derr; Shinoff Group
415- 495-1991; mobile: 415-601-1090, firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement by Reilly attorney Daniel Shulman,
responding to Justice Department letter to court
The following is a statement by Daniel Shulman, attorney for plaintiff Clint Reilly in Reilly v. Hearst/Chronicle, responding to a June 29, 2000 letter from Mark J. Botti, assistant chief, Litigation II Section, Antitrust Division, United States Department of Justice, to US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker:
The Justice Department has said it does not intend to get further involved in this antitrust lawsuit to stop the sale of the San Francisco Chronicle to the Hearst Corporation. DOJs position appears to be that a record has been developed in this case and that the government is satisfied to let the court decide this case on the basis of that record.
We have no plans to respond to the Justice Departments letter unless invited to do so by the court.
We note that in summarizing its investigation, the Justice Department confirmed that its legal position in discussions with Hearst mirrors the legal position taken by Mr. Reilly in this lawsuit. DOJ told Hearst exactly what we have been telling the court:
- The San Francisco Examiner is not a failing company;
- Hearst has never proved that the Examiner is a failing company, and;
- Any sale of the Examiner must involve Hearsts interests in the Joint Operating Agreement.
We note that the Justice Departments statements in this June 29 letter regarding the sale of the Examiner to the Fang family are clearly contrary to the DOJs March 30, 2000 press release which stated that the transaction will give San Francisco advertisers and readers the benefits of "full competition between two daily morning newspapers."
Finally, the Department of Justice expressly contradicts the May 31 representation made by Hearsts counsel Gerald A. Connell that the Department of Justice threatened to sue Hearst if that corporation closed the Examiner.
The lawsuit, by real estate investor Clint Reilly argues that the deal between the Hearst and Chronicle companies will illegally monopolize the market. Reilly seeks to maintain two viable, daily newspapers in San Francisco.
Read the U.S. District Court Post-trial Orders and the U.S. Dept. of Justice Responses.