Verdicts & Settlements

NYT: Hacking Settlements Are 'Chicken Feed' Compared to Payouts for Alleged Corporate Hijinks


News Corp. paid a reported $1.6 million in 2009 to settle legal claims related to the phone hacking scandal, but the amount pales in comparison to other legal settlements paid by the company.

The newspaper’s in-store and newspaper insert marketing business, News America Marketing, has paid $655 million to settle charges in three cases that it engaged in anticompetitive behavior and corporate espionage, the New York Times reports.

“The money the company reportedly paid out to hacking victims is chicken feed compared with what it has spent trying to paper over the tactics of News America in a series of lawsuits filed by smaller competitors in the United States,” the newspaper says.

The Times details these settlements:

• A company called Floorgraphics accused News America in 2009 of hacking into its password protected computer system to obtain proprietary information and disseminate falsehoods about the company. News America settled for $29.5 million and bought Floorgraphics days later.

• News America paid $500 million in a 2010 settlement with Valassis Communications, also agreeing to cooperate with the company on certain ventures.

• News America paid $125 million to Insignia Systems this year in a suit alleging anticompetitive behavior.

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