Sunday, May 31, 2009

Whistleblower’s Deposition Video Permitted in Valassis v. News America Lawsuit

Deposition testimony from News America Marketing whistleblower Robert Emmel will be admitted in the Valassis v. News America Marketing trial currently being conducted in Michigan state court, reports BNET.

Over News America's objection, Judge Sapala ruled that the videotaped deposition testimony would be allowed into the trial. Mr. Emmel testified in the Floorgraphics trial that News America engaged in an anti-competitive campaign to take contracts with retailers away from competitors, and charged manufacturers for ads that were never placed. He also testified that News America's CEO threatened to fire any employees who were uncomfortable with News America's aggressive tactics.

According to one source, the deposition testimony that will be played in the Valassis trial comes from the Insignia v. News America lawsuit, in which Insignia has made similar allegations of anti-competitive tactics by News America.

News America has gone to great lengths to suppress Mr. Emmel's testimony, suggesting that News America is very concerned about its potential impact in the Valassis and Insignia litigation. As reported previously, News America sued Mr. Emmel in federal court in Atlanta for violating a non-disclosure provision of a separation agreement, and won an injunction preventing him from making any further disclosures of confidential News America information to third parties. Mr. Emmel is appealing that ruling.

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