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News Corp agrees to pay $280MM and to modify its allegedly exclusionary conduct

News Corp agreed to pay $280MM to settle a lawsuit for monopoly maintenance and related claims brought on behalf of a class of consumer packaged goods companies; applEcon’s Dr. Jeffrey MacKie-Mason was the class’s sole expert economist throughout the case. The products at issue were in-store advertising and promotions sold by third parties; News Corp’s subsidiary News America Marketing is the dominant supplier in this market. News was alleged to have maintained its monopoly by signing retailers to long-term exclusive contracts, staggering termination dates to exclude competitors, overpaying retailers for contracts, and engaging in several torts. To enter the market requires obtaining access to retailers’ shelves for the purpose of placing ads; at least three entrants failed. Dr. MacKie-Mason testified on the relevant market, News’s market power, the exclusionary impact of its conduct, and the amount of overcharge injury suffered by consumer packaged goods companies. News agreed, as part of the settlement, not to sign retailers to contacts longer than 2½ years, unless retailers request such contracts in writing. For further information on the settlement, see:

 

“News Corp Pays Millions to Settle Suit Over In-Store Promotions”, Reuters, 29 February 2016.

See Dial Corp. et al. v. News Corp. et al.