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Spanish Broadcasting wants $1.5 billion from Clear Channel
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net
(more articles from this author)
2002-08-06
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Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: MusicDish/Mi2N - August 1, 2002

Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc. says it's now looking for more than $1.5 billion in damages from Clear Channel Communications for "interfering" with merger talks between it and HBC (Hispanic Broadcasting Corp.).

SBS says, "Clear Channel and HBC have adversely affected SBS's ability to raise capital, depressed SBS's share price, impugned the reputation of SBS, made station acquisitions more difficult and interfered with SBS's business opportunities and contractual arrangements. Clear Channel and HBC allegedly took these steps to facilitate their ultimate objective of acquiring SBS and eliminating it as a competitive threat to HBC's attempted dominance of the top 10 Hispanic radio markets."

Alleged actions described in SBS' amended complaint include:

* On May 16, 2002, representatives of Clear Channel defaced and destroyed property at the Oakland, California facilities of SBS' KPTI-FM by spray-painting the walls with obscene and pornographic messages;

* In June 2002, Clear Channel required HBC to enter into a merger agreement with Univision rather than permitting HBC to continue settlement negotiations with SBS that could have led to a merger. Clear Channel conspired to prevent the potential SBS-HBC merger - despite the significant value creation HBC shareholders would have realized from an HBC-SBS combination - in order to avoid the creation of a significant large market competitor in radio that was independent of its control;

* HBC has leveraged its relationship with Clear Channel - and the possibility that Clear Channel would shift to HBC's outside auditors - to get reduced audit fees from its outside auditors. HBC also has used the same valuation consultant as Clear Channel in order to enable it to avoid writedowns required by SFAS 142 that have been taken by most similarly situated radio broadcasting companies; and,

* In July 2000, HBC wrongfully attempted to entice a popular New York morning show host to breach his employment contract with SBS.

Related News from Mi2N:
» Spanish Broadcasting Broadens Suit Against Clear Channel And Hispanic Broadcasting


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