To Be Delivered To: The United States Department of Justice
By: Jim Dabakis
THEY HAVE THE COMBINED RESOURCES OF A HEDGE FUND AND THE D-NEWS. WE HAVE YOU! I'LL TAKE YOU ANY DAY.
The New York Hedge Fund (Alden Global Capital) that owns the SL Tribune has entered into a diabolical agreement (To see the agreement click to the left) with the Deseret News that will very likely close the Tribune. Under the proposal, which requires Department of Justice approval, the Deseret News gives the Hedge Fund millions of dollars while the Hedge Fund agrees to cut the Trib's share of joint revenues from 58% to 30%. The Trib cannot survive on 30% and the Deseret News knows it. For 62 years under the 'Newspaper Preservation Act', the newspapers have enjoyed a privileged antitrust exemption. As a result, the papers must get your (DOJ) permission to continue to have this very special treatment. Surely, this new proposed agreement cannot qualify under the 'Newspaper Preservation Act'. As the Deseret News' proposed amended agreement will likely kill the Tribune--for the good of our community we implore you to reject this 'new agreement'.
Without the community's help signing this petition, the Tribune will likely be dead in months. This will not be a fair marketplace death. It will be murder. The perp is the Deseret News, their bloody hands standing over the gasping Tribune. The ugly proposed new agreement has been written. Implementation of the 'demise of the Trib agreement' is only waiting for the Department of Justice to sign off. Together, the New York Hedge Fund that owns the Trib, and their buddies at the Deseret News have quietly conspired a deal. The likely result--the death of the Trib.
The only losers in this deal are the people of Utah. The Hedge Fund gets what it wants: CASH. The Deseret News kills its strongest editorial competitor and gets the market all to itself. Good for both parties--yet, a catastrophe for Utah.
But, there is hope for saving the Tribune. Because the two newspapers work together on the business side, they have enjoyed a special exemption from antitrust laws provided by the United States Department of Justice over the past 62 years. Both the Hedge Fund and the Deseret News need the approval of Justice to carry out their 'deal'. Utah and everyone who loves a marketplace of ideas needs to say NO to the silencing of the Salt Lake Tribune. Under the 'Newspaper Preservation Act', the Justice Department need not give special privileges to such a stifling, self serving deal!
We need to tell the Justice Department that having the Deseret News as Utah's only major statewide newspaper would be a calamity for our state! Our Community can not allow this plan, with the Justice Department's blessing, to destroy Utah's strong independent voice since 1871.
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