R-J reply to Greenspun suit slaps his contentions into a cocked hat

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 a paid subscriber to the combined R-J/Sun, but he gets a free copy.

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.

5 comments on “R-J reply to Greenspun suit slaps his contentions into a cocked hat

  1. Steve says:

    If he really believed in his paper he would work on ways to make it available. Its funny he claims the web site would have to go away, I think it should be easy to maintain and make a go of it online for a while anyway and the page does have advertising. Stories have been published on the site days in advance for quite a while now.
    So the domain “lassvegassun.com” has obvious value all its own.

    The only conclusion has to be axactly what you say, “Greenspun simply doesn’t want to risk his own money.”
    Bet me he will (risk his own money) once this silly case is thrown out?

  2. ExVcomEmp says:

    I’ve never been impressed by Brian, He once tried to relate to use common folk during an all-hands meeting and failed miserably. Let the Sun die, its long overdue.

  3. […] how I feel about the blog posting I dashed off before taking the grandkids on an evening outing to the zoo. Rereading the lede on the […]

  4. […] the following just proves that Greenspun’s contention that ending the JOA is a violation of antitrust law simply turns the law on its […]

  5. […] ending the contract would be a violation of anti-trust law, though, in fact, the JOA itself was a violation of anti-trust law. Under the Newspaper Preservation Act, Congress exempted newspaper from anti-trust law so they […]

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