Spanish Broadcasting System Inc.'s antitrust suit against Clear Channel
Communications Inc. was dismissed by a federal district judge in Miami
SBS in July alleged that Clear Channel interfered with its public offering in
1999 and with some sales relationships, and also scuttled negotiations that
could have led to a merger between it and Hispanic Broadcasting Corp.
HBC is currently under a $3 billion contract to be acquired by Univision
SBS officials said they would appeal the judge's ruling and have "every
confidence" that their claims will be reinstated.
Clear Channel chairman Lowry Mays said the decision showed that the largest
U.S. radio group has "risen above the chatter and proven that we are a good
company, with ethics, integrity and sound business practices."
Clear Channel, with more than 1,200 stations, dwarfs other radio groups and
has come under fire from artists, citizens' groups and some competitors for
allegedly unfair business practices. Senate lawmakers examined the company's
practices during a hearing on media consolidation last week.
As an indication that the company is taking criticism seriously, Clear
Channel Monday named former House Republican Conference chairman J.C. Watts to
its corporate board. Watts retired from congress at the end of 2002.
Clear Channel set up a Washington, D.C., office in November by hiring former
congressional aide Andrew Levin as a lobbyist.