[Proposed] Final Judgment

Date: 
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Document Type: 
Final Judgments + Proposed Final Judgments
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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,    

                  Plaintiff,

                  v.

RAYCOM MEDIA, INC.,

                  Defendant.


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Civil Action No.: 1:08-cv-01510
Assigned To: Urbina, Ricardo M.
Assign. Date: 08/28/2008
Description: Antitrust

FINAL JUDGMENT

WHEREAS, plaintiff, United States of America, filed its Complaint on August 28, 2008, the United States and defendant, Raycom Media, Inc. ("Raycom"), by their respective attorneys, have consented to the entry of this Final Judgment without trial or adjudication of any issue of fact or law, and without this Final Judgment constituting any evidence against or admission by any party regarding any issue of fact or law;

AND WHEREAS, defendant agrees to be bound by the provisions of this Final Judgment pending its approval by the Court;

AND WHEREAS, the essence of this Final Judgment is the prompt and certain divestiture of certain rights or assets by defendant to assure that competition is not substantially lessened;

AND WHEREAS, the United States requires defendant to make a certain divestiture for the purpose of remedying the loss of competition alleged in the Complaint;

AND WHEREAS, defendant has represented to the United States that the divestiture required below can and will be made and that it will later raise no claim of hardship or difficulty as grounds for asking the Court to modify any of the divestiture provisions contained below;

NOW THEREFORE, before any testimony is taken, without trial or adjudication of any issue of fact or law, and upon consent of the parties, it is ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED:

I. Jurisdiction

This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of and each of the parties to this action. The Complaint states a claim upon which relief may be granted against defendant under Section 7 of the Clayton Act, as amended (15 U.S.C. § 18).

II. Definitions

As used in this Final Judgment:

A. "Acquirer" means the entity to which defendant divests the Divestiture Assets.

B. "Raycom" means defendant Raycom Media, Inc., a Delaware limited liability company with its headquarters in Montgomery, Alabama, its successors and assigns, and its subsidiaries, divisions, groups, affiliates, partnerships and joint ventures, and their directors, officers, managers, agents, and employees.

C. "DMA" means designated market area as defined by A.C. Nielsen Company based upon viewing patterns and used by the Investing In Television BIA Market Report 2007 (2nd edition). DMAs are ranked according to the number of households therein and are used by broadcasters, advertisers and advertising agencies to aid in evaluating television audience size and composition.

D. "Richmond market" means the Richmond, Virginia DMA broadcast television market.

E. "WTVR-TV" means the broadcast television station WTVR-TV located in the Richmond market owned by defendant.

F. "Divestiture Assets" means all of the assets, tangible or intangible, used in the operation of WTVR-TV, including, but not limited to, all real property (owned or leased), broadcast equipment, office equipment, office furniture, fixtures, materials, supplies, and other tangible property used in the operation of the station; all licenses, permits, authorizations, and applications therefor issued by the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") and other government agencies relating to the station; all contracts (including programming contracts and rights), agreements, network affiliation agreements, leases, and commitments and understandings of defendant relating to the operation of WTVR-TV; all trademarks, service marks, trade names, copyrights, patents, slogans, programming materials, and promotional materials relating to WTVR-TV; all customer lists, contracts, accounts, and credit records; and all logs and other records maintained by defendant in connection with WTVR-TV.

III. Applicability

A. This Final Judgment applies to Raycom, as defined above, and all other persons in active concert or participation with Raycom who receive actual notice of this Final Judgment by personal service or otherwise.

B. If, prior to complying with Section IV and V of this Final Judgment, Defendant sells or otherwise disposes of all or substantially all of its assets or of lesser business units that include the Divestiture Assets, defendant shall require the purchaser to be bound by the provisions of this Final Judgment. Defendant need not obtain such an agreement from the acquirer of the assets divested pursuant to this Final Judgment.

IV. Divestiture

A. Defendant is ordered and directed, within thirty (30) calendar days after the filing of the Complaint in this matter or five (5) days after notice of the entry of this Final Judgment by the Court, whichever is later, to divest the Divestiture Assets in a manner consistent with this Final Judgment to an Acquirer acceptable to the United States in its sole discretion. The United States, in its sole discretion, may agree to one or more extensions of this time period, not to exceed 60 calendar days in total, and shall notify the Court in such circumstances. With respect to divestiture of the Divestiture Assets by defendant or the trustee appointed pursuant to Section V of this Final Judgment, if applications have been filed with the FCC within the period permitted for divestiture seeking approval to assign or transfer licenses to the Acquirer of the Divestiture Assets, but an order or other dispositive action by the FCC on such applications has not been issued before the end of the period permitted for divestiture, the period shall be extended with respect to divestiture of the Divestiture Assets for which FCC approval has not been issued until five (5) days after such approval is receivedDefendants agree to use their best efforts to accomplish the divestitures set forth in this Final Judgment and to seek all necessary regulatory approvals as expeditiously as possible. This Final Judgment does not limit the FCC's exercise of its regulatory powers and process with respect to the Divestiture Assets. Authorization by the FCC to conduct the divestiture of a Divestiture Asset in a particular manner will not modify any of the requirements of this decree.

B. In accomplishing the divestiture ordered by this Final Judgment, defendant promptly shall make known, by usual and customary means, the availability of the Divestiture Assets. Defendant shall inform any person making inquiry regarding a possible purchase of the Divestiture Assets that they are being divested pursuant to this Final Judgment and provide that person with a copy of this Final Judgment. Defendant shall offer to furnish to all prospective Acquirers, subject to customary confidentiality assurances, all information and documents relating to the Divestiture Assets customarily provided in a due diligence process except such information or documents subject to the attorney-client privileges or work-product doctrine. Defendant shall make available such information to the United States at the same time that such information is made available to any other person.

C. Defendant shall provide the Acquirer and the United States information relating to the personnel involved in the operation of the Divestiture Assets to enable the Acquirer to make offers of employment. Defendant will not interfere with any negotiations by the Acquirer to employ any defendant employee whose primary responsibility is the operation of the Divestiture Assets.

D. Defendant shall permit prospective Acquirers of the Divestiture Assets to have reasonable access to personnel and to make inspections of the physical facilities of the business to be divested; access to any and all environmental, zoning, and other permit documents and information; and access to any and all financial, operational, or other documents and information customarily provided as part of a due diligence process.

E. Defendant shall warrant to the Acquirer that each asset will be operational on the date of sale.

F. Defendant shall not take any action that will impede in any way the permitting, operation, or divestiture of the Divestiture Assets.

G. Defendant shall warrant to the Acquirer that there are no material defects in the environmental, zoning, or other permits pertaining to the operation of each asset, and that following the sale of the Divestiture Assets, defendant will not undertake, directly or indirectly, any challenges to the environmental, zoning or other permits relating to the operation of the Divestiture Assets.

H. Unless the United States otherwise consents in writing, the divestiture pursuant to Section IV, or by trustee appointed pursuant to Section V, of this Final Judgment, shall include the entire Divestiture Assets, and shall be accomplished in such a way as to satisfy the United States, in its sole discretion, that the Divestiture Assets can and will be used by the Acquirer as part of a viable, ongoing commercial broadcast television business. Divestiture of the Divestiture Assets must be made to a single Acquirer that can demonstrate to the sole satisfaction of the United States that the Divestiture Assets will remain viable and the divestiture of such assets will remedy the competitive harm alleged in the Complaint. The divestiture, whether pursuant to Section IV or Section V of this Final Judgment,

  1. shall be made to an Acquirer that, in the United States's sole judgment, has the intent and capability (including the necessary managerial, technical, operational, and financial capability) of competing effectively in the commercial broadcast television business in the Richmond market; and
  2. shall be accomplished so as to satisfy the United States, in its sole discretion, that none of the terms of any agreement(s) between an Acquirer and defendant gives them the ability unreasonably to raise the Acquirer's costs, to lower the Acquirer's efficiency, or otherwise to interfere in the ability of the Acquirer to compete effectively.

V. Appointment of Trustee

A. If defendant has not divested the Divestiture Assets within the time period specified in Section IV(A), defendant shall notify the United States of that fact in writing. Upon application of the United States, the Court shall appoint a trustee selected by the United States and approved by the Court to effect the divestiture of the Divestiture Assets.

B. After the appointment of a trustee becomes effective, only the trustee shall have the right to sell the Divestiture Assets. The trustee shall have the power and authority to accomplish the divestiture to an Acquirer acceptable to the United States at such price and on such terms as are then obtainable upon reasonable effort by the trustee, subject to the provisions of Sections IV, V, and VI of this Final Judgment, and shall have such other powers as this Court deems appropriate. Subject to Section V(D) of this Final Judgment, the trustee may hire at the cost and expense of defendant any investment bankers, attorneys, or other agents, who shall be solely accountable to the trustee, reasonably necessary in the trustee's judgment to assist in the divestiture.

C. Defendant shall not object to a sale by the trustee on any ground other than the trustee's malfeasance. Any such objections by defendant must be conveyed in writing to the United States and the trustee within ten (10) calendar days after the trustee has provided the notice required under Section VI.

D. The trustee shall serve at the cost and expense of defendant, on such terms and conditions as the United States approves, and shall account for all monies derived from the sale of the assets sold by the trustee and all costs and expenses so incurred. After approval by the Court of the trustee's accounting, including fees for its services and those of any professionals and agents retained by the trustee, all remaining money shall be paid to defendant and the trust shall then be terminated. The compensation of the trustee and any professionals and agents retained by the trustee shall be reasonable in light of the value of the Divestiture Assets and based on a fee arrangement providing the trustee with an incentive based on the price and terms of the divestiture and the speed with which it is accomplished, but timeliness is paramount.

E. Defendant shall use its best efforts to assist the trustee in accomplishing the required divestiture. The trustee and any consultants, accountants, attorneys, and other persons retained by the trustee shall have full and complete access to the personnel, books, records, and facilities related to the Divestiture Assets and defendant shall develop financial and other information relevant to such business as the trustee may reasonably request, subject to reasonable protection for trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information. Defendant shall take no action to interfere with or to impede the trustee's accomplishment of the divestiture.

F. After its appointment, the trustee shall file monthly reports with the United States and the Court, setting forththe trustee's efforts to accomplish the divestiture ordered under this Final Judgment. To the extent such reports contain information that the trustee deems confidential, such reports shall not be filed in the public docket of the Court. Such reports shall include the name, address, and telephone number of each person who, during the preceding month, made an offer to acquire, expressed an interest in acquiring, entered into negotiations to acquire, or was contacted or made an inquiry about acquiring, any interest in the Divestiture Assets, and shall describe in detail each contact with any such person. The trustee shall maintain full records of all efforts made to divest the Divestiture Assets.

G. If the trustee has not accomplished the divestiture ordered under this Final Judgment within six (6) months after its appointment, the trustee shall promptly file with the Court a report setting forth: (1) the trustee's efforts to accomplish the required divestiture, (2) the reasons, in the trustee's judgment, why the required divestiture has not been accomplished, and (3) the trustee's recommendations. To the extent such reports contain information that the trustee deems confidential, such report shall not be filed in the public docket of the Court. The trustee shall at the same time furnish such report to the United States, which shall have the right to make additional recommendations consistent with the purpose of the trust. The Court thereaftershall enter such ordersas it shall deem appropriate to carry out the purpose of the Final Judgment, which may, if necessary, include extending the trust and the term of the trustee's appointment by a period requested by the United States.

VI . Notice of Proposed Divestiture

A. Within two (2) business days following execution of a definitive divestiture agreement, defendant or the trustee, whichever is then responsible for effecting the divestiture required herein, shall notify the United States of any proposed divestiture required by Section IV or V of this Final Judgment. If the trustee is responsible, it shall similarly notify defendant. The notice shall set forth the details of the proposed divestiture and list the name, address, and telephone number of each person not previously identified who offered or expressed an interest in or desire to acquire any ownership interest in the Divestiture Assets, together with full details of the same.

B. Within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt by the United States of such notice, the United States may request from defendant, the proposed Acquirer(s), any other third party, or the trustee if applicable, additional information concerning the proposed divestiture, the proposed Acquirer(s) and any other potential Acquirer. Defendant and the trustee shall furnish any additional information requested within fifteen (15) calendar days of the receipt of the request, unless the parties shall otherwise agree.

C. Within thirty (30) calendar days after receipt of the notice or within twenty (20) calendar days after the United States has been provided the additional information requested from defendant, the proposed Acquirer(s), any third party and the trustee, whichever is later, the United States shall provide written notice to defendant and the trustee, if there is one, stating whether or not it objects to the proposed divestiture. If the United States provides written notice that it does not object, the divestiture may be consummated, subject only to defendant's limited right to object to the sale under Section V(C) of this Final Judgment. Without prior written notice that the United States does not object to the proposed Acquirer or upon objection by the United States, a divestiture proposed under Section IV or Section V shall not be consummated. Upon objection by defendant under Section V(C), a divestiture proposed under Section V shall not be consummated unless approved by the Court.

VII. Financing

Defendant shall not finance all or any part of any purchase made pursuant to Section IV or V of this Final Judgment.

VIII. Hold Separate

Until the divestiture required by this Final Judgment has been accomplished, defendant shall take all steps necessary to comply with the Hold Separate Stipulation and Order entered by this Court. Defendant shall take no action that would jeopardize the divestiture ordered by this Court.

IX. Affidavits

A. Within twenty (20) calendar days of the filing of the Complaint in this matter, and every thirty (30) calendar days thereafter until the divestiture has been completed under Section IV or V, defendant shall deliver to the United States an affidavit as to the fact and manner of its compliance with Section IV or V of this Final Judgment. Each such affidavit shall include the name, address, and telephone number of each person who, during the preceding thirty (30) calendar days, made an offer to acquire, expressed an interest in acquiring, entered into negotiations to acquire, or was contacted or made an inquiry about acquiring, any interest in the Divestiture Assets, and shall describe in detail each contact with any such person during that period. Each such affidavit shall also include a description of the efforts defendant has taken to solicit buyers for the Divestiture Assets and to provide required information to prospective Acquirers, including the limitations, if any, on such information. Assuming the information set forth in the affidavit is true and complete, any objection by the United States to information provided by defendant, including limitation on information, shall be made within fourteen (14) calendar days of receipt of such affidavit.

B. Within twenty (20) calendar days of the filing of the Complaint in this matter, defendant shall deliver to the United States an affidavit that describes in reasonable detail all actions defendant has taken and all steps defendant has implemented on an ongoing basis to comply with Section VIII of this Final Judgment. Defendant shall deliver to the United States an affidavit describing any changes to the efforts and actions outlined in its earlier affidavits filed pursuant to this section within fifteen (15) calendar days after the change is implemented.

C. Defendant shall keep all records of all efforts made to preserve and divest the Divestiture Assets until one year after such divestiture has been completed.

X. Compliance Inspection

A. For the purposes of determining or securing compliance with this Final Judgment, or of determining whether the Final Judgment should be modified or vacated, and subject to any legally recognized privilege, from time to time authorized representatives of the United States Department of Justice, including consultants and other persons retained by the United States, shall, upon written request of an authorized representative of the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, and on reasonable notice to defendant, be permitted:

  1. access during defendant's office hours to inspect and copy, or at the option of the United States, to require defendant to provide hard copy or electronic copies of, all books, ledgers, accounts, records, data, and documents in the possession, custody, or control of defendant, relating to any matters contained in this Final Judgment; and
  2. to interview, either informally or on the record, defendant's officers, employees, or agents, who may have their individual counsel present, regarding such matters. The interviews shall be subject to the reasonable convenience of the interviewee and without restraint or interference by defendant.

B. Upon the written request of an authorized representative of the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, defendant shall submit written reports or response to written interrogatories, under oath if requested, relating to any of the matters contained in this Final Judgment as may be requested.

C. No information or documents obtained by the means provided in this section shall be divulged by the United States to any person other than an authorized representative of the executive branch of the United States or, pursuant to a customary protective order or waiver of confidentiality by defendant, the FCC, except in the course of legal proceedings to which the United States is a party (including grand jury proceedings), or for the purpose of securing compliance with this Final Judgment, or as otherwise required by law.

D. If at the time information or documents are furnished by defendant to the United States, defendant represents and identifies in writing the material in any such information or documents to which a claim of protection may be asserted under Rule 26(c)(7) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and defendant marks each pertinent page of such material, "Subject to claim of protection under Rule 26(c)(7) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure," then the United States shall give defendant ten (10) calendar days notice prior to divulging such material in any legal proceeding (other than a grand jury proceeding).

XI. No Reacquisition

Defendant may not reacquire any part of the Divestiture Assets or enter into any local marketing agreement, joint sales agreement, or any other cooperative selling arrangement with respect to the Divestiture Assets during the term of this Final Judgment.

XII. Retention of Jurisdiction

This Court retains jurisdiction to enable any party to this Final Judgment to apply to this Court at any time for further orders and directions as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out or construe this Final Judgment, to modify any of its provisions, to enforce compliance, and to punish violations of its provisions.

XIII. Expiration of Final Judgment

Unless this Court grants an extension, this Final Judgment shall expire ten years from the date of its entry.

XIV. Public Interest Determination

Entry of this Final Judgment is in the public interest. The parties have complied with the requirements of the Antitrust Procedures and Penalties Act, 15 U.S.C. § 16, including making copies available to the public of this Final Judgment, the Competitive Impact Statement, and any comments thereon and the United States' responses to comments. Based upon the record before the Court, which includes the Competitive Impact Statement and any comments and response to comments filed with the Court, entry of this Final Judgment is in the public interest.

Date:

Court approval subject to procedures of the Antitrust Procedures and Penalties Act, 15 U.S.C. § 16:

_______________________________
United States District Judge

Attachments: 
Updated June 30, 2015