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San Francisco paper sues rival over low ad rates

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 26, 2013 at 4:55 pm •  Published: June 26, 2013

The Examiner alleges the intention behind the lowered rates was clearly to harm the competition.

"In many cases," the lawsuit says, "these discounts were specifically conditioned on the advertiser agreeing to purchase advertising services exclusively from Hearst and requiring it to stop doing business with the Examiner."

The suit seeks damages it says will be determined at trial, and an injunction keeping the Chronicle from charging below cost for advertising and from keeping prices secret.

At issue is the same state law behind a suit involving San Francisco's alternative weeklies, where a jury in 2008 found the SF Weekly engaged in predatory price-cutting on advertisements in order to thwart competition from the rival Bay Guardian. The Guardian was awarded $21 million in damages but later settled for a smaller undisclosed amount.

Alldredge was also the lead attorney for the Guardian in that lawsuit, and both weeklies now belong to the same owners as the Examiner.