SF Weekly | Associated Press
The San Francisco Newspaper Company, which owns the San Francisco Examiner, says the Hearst-owned San Francisco Chronicle “offered ad space to advertisers for a fraction of its cost on the condition that the advertisers not buy ads in the Examiner.”
“The suit also requests financial damages ‘in an amount to be proven at trial,'” Joe Eskenazi reports. “Per the law, that dollar figure could then be tripled.”
Greg Gilchrist, another Examiner attorney, claims the paper can produce material evidence proving the Chronicle not only targeted Examiner advertisers with deep discounts — as low as $1,000 “or even less” for full-page ads listed at between $59,000 and $92,000 on the Chronicle’s advertising rate card — but, on occasion, demanded exclusivity in return for secret and preferential rates.
Section 17043 of California’s Unfair Practices Act says it’s unlawful “to sell any article or product at less than the cost thereof to such vendor, or to give away any article or product, for the purpose of injuring competitors or destroying competition.”
As Eskenazi notes, the Examiner, the Bay Guardian and SF Weekly all now share an owner.