Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Valassis v. News America Marketing: Trial Begins

Trial in a lawsuit between Valassis and News America Marketing is scheduled to begin today in Michigan state court, but Judge Sapala rejected a request for a television camera in the courtroom, reports BNET.

The trial is the first of three related lawsuits by Valassis against News America that collectively seek over $1.5 billion in damages for antitrust and related violations. The Valassis trial follows on the heels of a settlement in Floorgraphics v. News America, in which an in-store advertising company made similar claims of anti-competitive conduct by News America. The Floorgraphics lawsuit settled after the first few days of testimony, including damaging testimony from former News America employee Robert Emmel. Mr. Emmel reportedly will not testify in person at the Valassis trial, after News America won an injunction against him for disclosing confidential News America information to government officials.

Both parties requested the exclusion of cameras from the courtroom, which will impede media coverage of the trial.

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