| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JUNE 30, 1995
TDD (202) 514-1888
STATEMENT OF ANNE K. BINGAMAN, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE ANTITRUST DIVISION REGARDING THE DISTRICT COURT'S DECISION TO PREVENT THE ACQUISITION OF THE NORTHWEST ARKANSAS TIMES BY THE OWNERS OF ITS MAIN COMPETITOR:
"Consumers and small businesses in Northwest Arkansas are the winners in this case. The court has prevented a near monopoly. As a result, the vigorous competition for newspaper readers and advertisers between the Northwest Arkansas Times and the Morning News of Northwest Arkansas will continue."
"As the first merger case litigated from beginning to end since I became Assistant Attorney General, this decision is especially gratifying. This is an example of the investigatory techniques and strong litigation skills we now apply to merger cases."
"Success in litigation is crucial to a strong antitrust enforcement program. The Antitrust Division will continue its vigilant antitrust enforcement because preserving competition is vital to a strong American economy."
The court issued a permanent injunction today against the acquisition of the Northwest Arkansas Times, located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, by the Stephens family of Little Rock. The Stephens family owns the Morning News of Northwest Arkansas, which also circulates in the Fayetteville/Springdale metropolitan area. The injunction followed an eight-day trial in early May 1995 of a civil antitrust lawsuit filed by the Department. The government's suit contended the acquisition likely would lead to lower quality and higher prices for newspaper readers and advertisers.
The case was litigated by the Antitrust Division's Merger Task Force. Bingaman thanked the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Arkansas for their cooperation and assistance in the litigation.