Review-Journal attorneys replied this afternoon to Brian Greenspun’s specious suit trying to block a contemplated end to the publication of the Las Vegas Sun as an insert in the morning newspaper.
First, attorneys Don Campbell and Colby Williams prove Greenspun doesn’t have standing to bring the case in any shape or form.
Greenspun claimed to have standing as shareholder of the Sun ownership, but he is merely a dissident shareholder who was out voted by his brother and sisters who voted to end the joint operating agreement (JOA).
Neither does he have standing as the editor of the Sun, because in previous cases terminated employees of closed newspaper were not granted standing.
Also, the matter is not ripe. No final contract has been entered into and might not ever be.
Furthermore, there is no antitrust case because the Sun is a failing newspaper that would not exist without the JOA.
The reply states:
“There can be no antitrust violation for an additional reason: the printed Las Vegas Sun is a failing newspaper, and its termination in the 2005 JOA cannot, therefore, harm competition. A failing JOA newspaper is one which would be failing ‘if operated outside the JOA.’ …
“That analysis here shows the Las Vegas Sun is failing: if the 2005 JOA were ended, the Review-Journal would save over a million dollars per year in costs (not including its profit payments to Las Vegas Sun, Inc.), but would not suffer any decline in revenue. Notably, the DOJ has argued to the Ninth Circuit that ‘a decision to terminate a newspaper whose incremental costs exceed the incremental revenues attributable to its operation is unlikely to violate the antitrust laws.’ …
“The Las Vegas Sun’s incremental costs exceed its incremental revenues. Accordingly, terminating the Las Vegas Sun’s publication as part of the 2005 JOA (while preserving its potential publication through other vehicles) does not violate the antitrust laws. Plaintiffs have not properly alleged, and cannot otherwise support, their purported relevant market. Nor can they demonstrate that termination of the 2005 JOA will result in harm to competition. These are yet two more reasons why Plaintiffs cannot establish a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits.”
Also, Greenspun has failed show a shred of evidence of irreparable harm to anyone, merely base speculation.
And the noncompete clause frequently mentioned by Greenspun is no longer contemplated. The reply says, “While the contemplated transactions between Stephens Media and the Greenspun entities may envision that the printed 8-12 page Las Vegas Sun insert will no longer be published and distributed with the Review-Journal, Las Vegas Sun, Inc. or the Greenspuns will be free to publish the print version of the newspaper on their own or sell it to another party that may wish to do so.”
Greenspun simply doesn’t want to risk his own money.