Rather than go to trial on Tuesday (2/2), News Corporation on Saturday announced that it had agreed to pay Valassis Communications a half billion dollars. The settlement ends a long legal battle over competition in the newspaper insert business.
Valassis had filed multiple lawsuits against News Corporation’s News America marketing unit, accusing News America of unfair competition and tortious interference. Valassis had already won a state cout judgement in its home state of Michigan and the federal trial which would have begun this week was also in Michigan. Another state suit had been pending in California.
The settlement announced over the weekend for $500 million also covers the $300 million which Valassis was awarded in July in a Michigan state court.
“It has become evident to our legal advisors from pre-trial proceedings over the past couple of weeks that significant risks were developing in presenting this case to a jury. That, coupled with concerns over the venue, led us to believe it was in the best interests of the company and its stockholders to agree to a settlement,” said News Corporation Deputy Chairman, President andCOO Chase Carey in Saturday’s announcement.