A United States District Judge in Miami recently dismissed an antitrust lawsuit filed against Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation (HBC) by Spanish Broadcasting System, Incorporated (SBC). Judge Patricia A. Seitz dismissed the case with prejudice on Friday, January 31, 2003, ending the federal lawsuit against HBC and Clear Channel Communications, Incorporated.
The lawsuit, filed in June 2002, claimed HBC and Clear Channel, which owns 26% of HBC, implemented anti-competitive practices intended to drive SBS out of business. SBS sought $1.5 billion in damages. The Court’s 21-page opinion found no merit in SBS’ antitrust claims, saying the lawsuit was the result of Spanish Broadcasting’s frustration that its rival did not merge with it.
In the order of dismissal, Judge Patricia A. Seitz wrote, ‘[T]his case is really about the fallout from a failed merger. SBS expected to merge with HBC and create the largest Spanish-language radio station in the top-ten markets, but HBC decided to accept Univision’s offer instead. On the same day as the merger was announced, SBS sued...’
In a prepared statement, SBS disagreed with the order and said it will appeal. HBC said it will ‘vigorously defend’ the Court’s decision against any appeal.
HBC was represented by a Baker Botts L.L.P. team that included G. Irvin Terrell, Sam Cooper, Rebecca Aizpuru, Matthew Lawson and Ed Dawson in the Houston office, and Larry D. Carlson, Matthew Sallusti and Joe Wagner in the Dallas office. HBC’s local counsel was Robert C. Josefsberg of Podhurst Orseck Josefsberg Eaton Meadow Olin & Perwin, P.A. of Miami.
Clear Channel was represented by General Counsel Kenneth Wyker and inside counsel James Dockery, as well as outside counsel Stephen D. Susman, Erica Harris and Frank Apodaca of Susman Godfrey L.L.P. in Houston and local counsel Michael Nachwalter of Kenny Nachwalter Seymour Arnold Critchlow & Spector, P.A. of Miami.
SBS was represented by David Boies, Robert J. Dwyer, Mark J. Heise, Steve Zack and Antonio Castro of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP.
HBC is the largest Spanish-language radio broadcasting company in the United States. HBC owns or operates 63 radio stations in 15 of the top 20 Hispanic markets.
Baker Botts is a leading international law firm, recognized for its energy, intellectual property, trial and corporate practices. Founded in 1840, Baker Botts has more than 680 lawyers with offices in Austin, Baku, Dallas, Houston, London, Moscow, New York, Riyadh and Washington, D.C., and its clients include nearly half the Fortune 100 ®.
For more information, please contact:
G. Irvin Terrell, Partner, 713.229.1231, [email protected]