More on the Bay Guardian/VVM Verdict

march 12, 2008  08:35 am
"There's more to the Bay Guardian-VVM fight than ill will and purple prose," writes Boston Phoenix media reporter Adam Reilly. "The two sides have predictably divergent takes on the merits of the outcome. But they agree that its legal ramifications go far beyond the Bay Area and the alt-weekly universe." Guardian publisher and editor Bruce Brugmann tells the Phoenix that the suit sets an example for small businesses everywhere. "Everyone can use our suit as a model and template for any big chain that's coming in and trying to predatory-price them," he says. But SF Weekly attorney Jim Wagstaffe thinks that if the judge grants the Guardian's request for an injunction for the Weekly to stop all below-cost sales as the case winds its way through the courts, "the result here could dramatically harm consumers. If every one of [a publication's] ad sales is scrutinized to make sure it's not, quote-unquote, too low, then what'll happen is, publications will raise their prices to avoid getting sued." The Guardian notes that interest will accrue on the judgment at a rate of 10 percent a year. "That means the Weekly and VVM will be paying $4,000 a day in interest for as long as they seek to dispute and appeal the jury decision," the Guardian reports.