UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR
PROPOSED FINAL JUDGMENT
WHEREAS, plaintiff, the United States of America, filed its Complaint in this action on November 25, 1998, and plaintiff and defendants by their respective attorneys, having consented to the entry of this Final Judgment without trial or adjudication of any issue of fact or law herein, and without this Final Judgment constituting any evidence against or an admission by any party with respect to any issue of law or fact herein;
AND WHEREAS, defendants have agreed 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 prompt and certain divestiture of the outdoor advertising assets in the Seven Counties identified below to ensure that competition is substantially preserved;
AND WHEREAS, plaintiff requires defendants to make the divestitures for the purpose of maintaining the current level of competition in the sale of outdoor advertising;
AND WHEREAS, defendants have represented to the plaintiff that the divestitures ordered herein can and will be made and that defendants will not later raise claims of hardship or difficulty as grounds for asking the Court to modify any of the divestitures contained below;
NOW, THEREFORE, before the taking of any testimony, and without trial or adjudication of any issue of fact or law herein, and upon consent of the parties hereto, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED as follows:
This Court has jurisdiction over each of the defendants hereto and over the subject matter of this action. The Complaint states a claim upon which relief may be granted against the defendants, as hereinafter defined, under Section 7 of the Clayton Act, as amended (15 U.S.C. § 18).
As used in this Final Judgment:
A. "DOJ" means the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice.
B. "Chancellor" means defendant Chancellor Media Corporation, a Delaware corporation with its headquarters in Dallas, Texas, and its successors, assigns, subsidiaries, divisions, groups, affiliates, partnerships and joint ventures, and directors, officers, managers, agents, and employees, including but not limited to Martin Media, L.P. ("Martin"), a limited partnership with its headquarters in Dallas, Texas.
C. "Martin" means Martin Media L.P., a limited partnership with its headquarters in Dallas, Texas, and its successors, assigns, subsidiaries, divisions, groups, affiliates, partnerships and joint ventures, and directors, officers, managers, agents, and employees.
D. "Whiteco" means defendant Whiteco Industries, Inc., a Nebraska corporation with its headquarters in Merrillville, Indiana, and its successors, assigns, subsidiaries, divisions, groups, affiliates, partnerships and joint ventures, and directors, officers, managers, agents, and employees.
E. "Metro" means defendant Metro Management Associates, an Indiana General Partnership with its headquarters in Merrillville, Indiana, and its successors, assigns, subsidiaries, divisions, groups, affiliates, partnerships and joint ventures, and directors, officers, managers, agents, and employees.
F. "Defendants" means Chancellor, Whiteco, and Metro.
G. "Advertising Assets" means the outdoor advertising bulletin faces equal in number to, and having approximately the same market and rental value as, the faces owned and operated by Whiteco or Metro, as of the date the complaint in this action is filed, in each of these Seven Counties: (1) Hartford County, Connecticut; (2) Shawnee County, Kansas; (3) Leavenworth County, Kansas; (4) Potter County, Texas; (5) Nolan County, Texas; (6) Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania; and (7) Washington County, Pennsylvania, with the exception of the 23 bulletin faces located on I-70, west of Exit 4 in the county, (collectively "the Seven Counties"). This includes all tangible and intangible assets used in the sale of outdoor advertising on those bulletin faces in each of the Seven Counties including: all real property (owned or leased); all licenses, permits and authorizations issued by any governmental organization relating to the operation of the bulletin faces; and all contracts, agreements, leases, licenses, commitments and understandings pertaining to the sale of outdoor advertising on those bulletin faces.
H. "Acquirer" or "Acquirers" means the entity or entities to whom Chancellor and Whiteco divest the Advertising Assets pursuant to this Final Judgment.
A. The provisions of this Final Judgment apply to the defendants, their successors and assigns, their subsidiaries, directors, officers, managers, agents, and employees, and all other persons in active concert or participation with any of them who shall have received actual notice of this Final Judgment by personal service or otherwise.
B. Each defendant shall require, as a condition of the sale or other disposition of all or substantially all of their outdoor advertising business in any of the Seven Counties, that the Acquirer or Acquirers agree to be bound by the provisions of this Final Judgment.
A. Chancellor is hereby ordered and directed in accordance with the terms of this Final Judgment, within six (6) months 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 Advertising Assets to an Acquirer (or Acquirers) acceptable to DOJ in its sole discretion.
B. Defendants shall use their best efforts to accomplish the divestitures as expeditiously and timely as possible. DOJ, in its sole discretion, may extend the time period for any divestiture for two (2) additional thirty (30) day periods of time, not to exceed sixty (60) calendar days in total.
C. In accomplishing the divestitures ordered by this Final Judgment, defendants promptly shall make known, by usual and customary means, the availability of the Advertising Assets described in this Final Judgment. Defendants shall inform any person making an inquiry regarding a possible purchase that the sale is being made pursuant to this Final Judgment and provide such person with a copy of this Final Judgment. Defendants shall also offer to furnish to all prospective Acquirers, subject to customary confidentiality assurances, all information regarding the Advertising Assets, customarily provided in a due diligence process except such information subject to attorney-client privilege or attorney work-product privilege. Defendants shall make available such information to DOJ at the same time that such information is made available to any other person.
D. Defendants shall permit prospective Acquirers of the Advertising Assets to have reasonable access to personnel and to make such inspection of the physical facilities of the Advertising Assets and any and all financial, operational, or other documents and information customarily provided as part of a due diligence process.
E. The defendants shall not take any action that will impede in any way the divestiture of the Advertising Assets.
F. Divestiture of the Advertising Assets may be made to one or more Acquirers, so long as there is only one acquirer for any particular county's assets, and provided that in each instance it is demonstrated to the sole satisfaction of DOJ that the Advertising Assets will remain viable and the divestiture of such adverting assets will remedy the competitive harm alleged in the complaint. The divestitures, whether pursuant to Section IV or Section V of this Final Judgment:
A. In the event that defendants have not divested the Advertising Assets within the time specified in Section IV(A) of this Final Judgment, the Court shall appoint, on application of the United States, a trustee selected by DOJ in its sole discretion to effect the divestiture of the Advertising Assets.
B. After the appointment of a trustee becomes effective, only the trustee shall have the right to sell the Advertising Assets. The trustee shall have the power and authority to accomplish the divestitures at the best price then obtainable upon a reasonable effort by the trustee, subject to the provisions of Sections IV and X of this Final Judgment, and shall have such other powers as the Court shall deem appropriate. Subject to Section V(C) of this Final Judgment, the trustee shall have the power and authority to hire at the cost and expense of defendants any investment bankers, attorneys, or other agents reasonably necessary in the judgment of the trustee to assist in the divestitures, and such professionals and agents shall be accountable solely to the trustee. The trustee shall have the power and authority to accomplish the divestitures of Advertising Assets at the earliest possible time to an Acquirer (or Acquirers) acceptable to DOJ in its sole discretion, and shall have such other powers as this Court shall deem appropriate. Defendants shall not object to a sale by the trustee on any grounds other than the trustee's malfeasance. Any such objections by defendants must be conveyed in writing to plaintiff and the trustee within ten (10) calendar days after the trustee has provided the notice required under Section VII of this Final Judgment.
C. The trustee shall serve at the cost and expense of defendants, on such terms and conditions as the Court may prescribe, 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 defendants as appropriate according to ownership of the assets and the trust shall then be terminated. The compensation of such trustee and of any professionals and agents retained by the trustee shall be reasonable in light of the value of the divested business and based on a fee arrangement providing the trustee with an incentive based on the price and terms of the divestitures and the speed with which they are accomplished.
D. Defendants shall use their best efforts to assist the trustee in accomplishing the required divestitures, including best efforts to effect all necessary consents and regulatory approvals. 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 of the businesses to be divested, and defendants shall develop financial or other information relevant to the businesses to be divested customarily provided in a due diligence process as the trustee may reasonably request, subject to customary confidentiality assurances. Defendants shall permit prospective Acquirers of the Advertising Assets to have reasonable access to personnel and to make such inspection of physical facilities and any and all financial, operational or other documents and other information as may be relevant to the divestitures required by this Final Judgment.
E. After its appointment, the trustee shall file monthly reports with the parties and the Court setting forth the trustee's efforts to accomplish the divestitures ordered pursuant to this Final Judgment; provided, however, that 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 businesses to be divested, and shall describe in detail each contact with any such person during that period. The trustee shall maintain full records of all efforts made to divest the businesses to be divested.
F. If the trustee has not accomplished such divestitures within six (6) months after its appointment, the trustee thereupon shall file promptly with the Court a report setting forth: (1) the trustee's efforts to accomplish the required divestitures; (2) the reasons, in the trustee's judgment, why the required divestitures have not been accomplished; and (3) the trustee's recommendations; provided, however, that 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. The trustee shall at the same time furnish such report to the parties, who shall each have the right to be heard and to make additional recommendations consistent with the purpose of the trust. The Court shall enter thereafter such orders as it shall deem appropriate in order to carry out the purpose of the trust which may, if necessary, include extending the trust and the term of the trustee's appointment by a period requested by DOJ.
Unless such transaction is otherwise subject to the reporting and waiting period requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, 15 U.S.C. § 18a (the "HSR Act"), defendants, without providing advance notification to DOJ, shall not directly or indirectly acquire any assets of or any interest, including any financial, security, loan, equity or management interest, in any outdoor advertising business in any of the Seven Counties that constitute the greater of (i) four bulletin faces, or (ii) $250,000 in bulletin face assets in any one county during a five-year period. For the purposes of this limitation, there shall be two consecutive five-year periods. Acquisitions during each of these five-year periods shall be aggregated, with the first period ending five years after the Final Judgment is entered, and the second period beginning immediately upon the expiration of the first five-year period.
Such notification shall be provided to the DOJ in the same format as, and per the instructions relating to the Notification and Report Form set forth in the Appendix to Part 803 of Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations as amended, except that the information requested in Items 5 through 9 of the instructions must be provided only about outdoor advertising operations in Seven Counties. Notification shall be provided at least thirty (30) days prior to acquiring any such interest, and shall include, beyond what may be required by the applicable instructions, the names of the principal representatives of the parties to the agreement who negotiated the agreement, and any management or strategic plans discussing the proposed transaction. If within the 30-day period after notification, representatives of DOJ make a written request for additional information, defendants shall not consummate the proposed transaction or agreement until twenty (20) days after submitting all such additional information. Early termination of the waiting periods in this paragraph may be requested and, where appropriate, granted in the same manner as is applicable under the requirements and provisions of the HSR Act and rules promulgated thereunder. This Section shall be broadly construed and any ambiguity or uncertainty regarding the filing of notice under this Section shall be resolved in favor of filing notice.
Within two (2) business days following execution of a definitive agreement, contingent upon compliance with the terms of this Final Judgment, to effect, in whole or in part, any proposed divestitures pursuant to Sections IV or V of this Final Judgment, defendants or the trustee, whichever is then responsible for effecting the divestitures, shall notify DOJ, of the proposed divestitures. If the trustee is responsible, it shall similarly notify defendants. The notice shall set forth the details of the proposed transaction and list the name, address, and telephone number of each person not previously identified who offered to, or expressed an interest in or a desire to, acquire any ownership interest in the businesses to be divested that are the subject of the binding contract, together with full details of same. Within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt by DOJ of notice, DOJ may request from defendants, the proposed Acquirer (or Acquirers), or any other third party Acquirer or Acquirers additional information concerning the proposed divestitures and the proposed Acquirer or Acquirers. Defendants and the trustee shall furnish any additional information requested from them within fifteen (15) calendar days of the receipt of the request, unless the parties shall otherwise agree. Within thirty (30) calendar days after receipt of the notice or within twenty (20) calendar days after DOJ has been provided the additional information requested from defendants, the proposed Acquirer (or Acquirers), and any third party, whichever is later, DOJ shall provide written notice to defendants and the trustee, if there is one, stating whether or not it objects to the proposed divestitures. If DOJ provides written notice to defendants and the trustee that DOJ does not object, then the divestitures may be consummated, subject only to defendants' limited right to object to the sale under Section V(B) of this Final Judgment. Absent written notice that DOJ does not object to the proposed Acquirer (or Acquirers) or upon objection by DOJ, a divestiture proposed under Section IV or Section V may not be consummated. Upon objection by defendants under the provision in Section V(B), a divestiture proposed under Section V shall not be consummated unless approved by the Court.
A. Within twenty (20) calendar days of the filing of the Complaint in this matter and every thirty (30) calendar days thereafter until the divestitures have been completed whether pursuant to Section IV or Section V of this Final Judgment, defendants shall deliver to DOJ an affidavit as to the fact and manner of compliance with this Final Judgment. Each such affidavit shall include, inter alia, the name, address, and telephone number of each person who, at any time after the period covered by the last such report, 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 businesses to be divested, 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 that defendants have taken to solicit a buyer for the Advertising Assets and to provide required information to prospective Acquirers.
B. Within twenty (20) calendar days of the filing of the Complaint in this matter, defendants shall deliver to DOJ an affidavit that describes in detail all actions they have taken and all steps they have implemented on an on-going basis to preserve the Advertising Assets pursuant to Section IX of this Final Judgment. The affidavit also shall describe, but not be limited to, the efforts of defendants to maintain and operate the Advertising Assets as active competitors; maintain the management, staffing, sales, and marketing of the Advertising Assets; and maintain the Advertising Assets in operable condition at current capacity configurations. Defendants shall deliver to DOJ an affidavit describing any changes to the efforts and actions outlined in their earlier affidavit(s) filed pursuant to this Section within fifteen (15) calendar days after the change is implemented.
C. Until one year after such divestiture has been completed, defendants shall preserve all records of all efforts made to preserve the business to be divested and effect the divestitures.
IX. PRESERVATION OF ASSETS
Until the divestitures required by the Final Judgment have been accomplished, defendants shall take all steps necessary to maintain and operate the Advertising Assets in Hartford County, Connecticut, and Westmoreland and Washington Counties, Pennsylvania, as active competitors; maintain sufficient management and staffing, maintain sales and marketing of the Advertising Assets; and maintain the Advertising Assets in operable condition at current capacity configurations. In each of the remaining Counties, defendants shall maintain and operate the Advertising Assets as active competitors, such that the sales and marketing of the Advertising Assets shall be conducted separate from, and in competition with, Chancellor's bulletin faces in each of the respective counties; defendants also shall maintain these Advertising Assets in operable condition at current capacity configurations. Defendants shall take no action that would jeopardize the divestitures described in this Final Judgment.
The defendants are ordered and directed not to finance all or any part of any purchase by an Acquirer (or Acquirers) made pursuant to Sections IV or V of this Final Judgment.
For purposes of determining or securing compliance with the Final Judgment and subject to any legally recognized privilege, from time to time:
A. Duly authorized representatives of the plaintiff, upon the written request of the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, and on reasonable notice to the defendants made to their principal offices, shall be permitted:
B. Upon the written request of the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, made to the defendants' principal offices, the defendants shall submit such written reports, under oath if requested, with respect to any matter contained in the Final Judgment.
C. No information or documents obtained by the means provided in Sections VIII or XI of this Final Judgment shall be divulged by a representative of the plaintiff to any person other than a duly authorized representative of the Executive Branch of the United States, except in the course of legal proceedings to which the plaintiff 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 the defendants to the plaintiff, the defendants represent and identify 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 the defendants mark each pertinent page of such material, "Subject to claim of protection under Rule 26(c)(7) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure," then ten (10) calendar days notice shall be given by the plaintiff to the defendants prior to divulging such material in any legal proceeding (other than a grand jury proceeding) to which the defendants are not a party.
Jurisdiction is retained by this Court for the purpose of enabling any of the parties to this Final Judgment to apply to this Court at any time for such further orders and directions as may be necessary or appropriate for the construction or carrying out of this Final Judgment, for the modification of any of the provisions hereof, for the enforcement of compliance herewith, and for the punishment of any violations hereof.
Unless this Court grants an extension, this Final Judgment will expire upon the tenth anniversary of the date of its entry; however, all Whiteco and Metro obligations under the terms of this Final Judgment cease once Whiteco and Metro irrevocably convey the Advertising Assets (owned by Whiteco and/or Metro) to be divested by Chancellor pursuant to Section IV.
XIV. PUBLIC INTEREST
Entry of this Final Judgment is in the public interest.