Case Details

Year Initiated/Committed


Year Resolved


Settlement Amount

$610,000 penalties plus $140,000 costs (CA), $90,000 penalties plus $40,000 costs (OH)


Court of Common Pleas, Cuyahoga County, Ohio; Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County, California

Docket Number

OH - CV03492804; CA - BC289225

Lead State


Participating States



Village Voice Media, LLC; NT Media, LLC

Case Description

In separate but coordinated, actions, Plaintiff States sought civil forfeiture and injunctive relief, alleging that Village Voice Media and NT Media conspired to restrain competition in local alternative newsweekly markets through a market allocation agreement. In October, 2002, Defendant companies entered a written agreement, in which Village Voice Media agreed to abandon the Cleveland Market by selling its Cleveland newsweekly assets to New Times and New Times agreed to abandon the Los Angeles market selling its Los Angeles newsweekly assets to Village Voice Media. Village Voice Media also agreed to pay $9 million to New Times in order to account for the difference in market size. Further, each Defendant company agreed not to compete for at least ten years in the market it exited. The parties entered settlement agreements in which the Defendant companies agreed to divest to competing publishers certain assets in order to restore viable competitive markets in Cleveland and Los Angeles. Each Defendant was also enjoined from entering a market allocation agreement, for a period of five years in Ohio’s decree and ten years in California’s decree. Further, each Defendant agreed to pay the State of Ohio a civil forfeiture $40,000 and an additional $20,000 in investigative costs and attorneys fees. Defendants paid the State of California $610,000 in penalties, and an additional $140,000 in investigative costs and attorneys fees. The Department of Justice also participated in the investigation, filed a separate action, and obtained a consent judgment for divestiture and injunction.