Judge Rules Against Anderson News, Throws Out Antitrust Lawsuit
Ruling says rate hike, not magazine publishers, caused distributor's downfall.
A Manhattan-based Federal Judge has thrown out an antitrust lawsuit against magazine publishers brought by shuttered wholesale magazine distributor Anderson News that alleged a conspiracy to drive Anderson out of business.
The judge says Anderson News put itself out of business by implementing a 7-cent surcharge on magazines distributed after February 2009. The suit had named American Media Inc., Bauer Publishing, Curtis Circulation, Distribution Services, Hachette Filipacchi, Kable News, Rodale Publishing, Time Inc. and Time Warner Retail as defendants.
Anderson News closed shop in February 2009, laying off thousands of employees and plunging the newsstand into chaos, with close to 50 percent of the market scrambling to find alternatives. Anderson found itself the target of lawsuits from Clearwater, Florida-based Downtown Newsstand alleging breach of contract as well as from a former employee who alleged that Anderson, along with Twin Rivers Technology Group, failed to notify employees of their termination in line with terms of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
Distributor Source Interlink also implemented the 7-cent surcharge and filed its own antitrust lawsuit against many of the same parties last year, claiming rival wholesalers, as well as publishers, were trying to force the company out of business. Last September, Source settled its suit against Bauer Media—the last of the defendants in its case that it settled with.
Anderson News lawyer Marc Kasowitz told the Associated Press that he thinks the ruling will be overturned on appeal because of "substantial errors as a matter of fact and as a matter of law."