Clearly, a nasty radio suit

Spanish Broadcasting wants $1.5B from Clear Channel for allegedly tampering with merger

Frivolous" was the word Lowry Mays used to describe a lawsuit filed by superstar lawyer David Boies against his Clear Channel Communications in June. But Mays isn't taking his defense lightly.

At the same time that Spanish Broadcasting Systems (SBS) last week declared it was seeking $1.5 billion in damages in the suit, Mays, the president of the country's largest radio group, hired famous trial attorney Stephen Susman to defend it against charges of interfering with operations of Spanish Broadcasting, including interfering with its public offering in 1999 and with some sales relationships.

It will be a legal battle of big guns. Boies' highest-profile cases were the U.S. government vs. Microsoft. He also was former Vice President Gore's attorney in the 2000 election case. Susman currently is defending Enron against investor lawsuits.

Susman characterized Spanish Broadcasting's suit as a "publicity stunt" and called the company's litany of complaints "nutty."

In its latest filing last week, SBS charged that Clear Channel scuttled merger negotiations between SBS and Hispanic Broadcasting Corp. Instead, HBC was "required" by Clear Channel to merge with Univision.

The filing also appeared an attempt to tar Clear Channel's accounting methods for HBC.

Two weeks ago Clear Channel announced that it would replace radio-group head Randy Michaels and denied rumors that the company would be the latest corporation caught in the wake of accounting scandals.