Following in the footsteps of Source Interlink, recently-shuttered wholesaler Anderson News has filed an antitrust lawsuit against several magazine publishers, national distributors and rival wholesalers. The suit, like Source’s, alleges the defendants conspired to force Anderson out of business.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York this week, alleges that Hudson News and the News Group conspired to cut Anderson off from 80 percent of its business, spread false rumors about the company’s financial stability and coerced it to sell its distribution facilities at below market prices. Anderson is seeking compensatory damages, punitive damages and reimbursement of legal fees.
In addition to the wholesalers, the suit names American Media Inc., Bauer Publishing, Curtis Circulation, Distribution Services, Hachette Filipacchi, Kable News, Rodale Publishing, Time Inc. and Time Warner Retail as defendants.
Source Interlink filed its own antitrust lawsuit against many of the same parties early last month, claiming rival wholesalers, as well as publishers, were trying to force the company out of business. Source has since settled its claims with Time Inc. Time Warner Retail, American Media Inc., Distribution Services Inc. and News Group.
The uproar began in January when Anderson and Source announced 7-cents-per-copy price. Publishers largely balked at the surcharge and refused to pay, upset at the wholesalers’ sudden and "unilateral" decision to boost costs.
On February 7, Anderson suspended normal business activity and later ceased operations altogether. The company has since been hit with several lawsuits, including one from four major book publishers seeking $37.5 million for"goods delivered."