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Valassis announced that it has reached an agreement to settle its outstanding antitrust lawsuits against News America Marketing, a division of News Corporation, and will be paid $500 million.

Bloomberg suggests that News America may have gotten away cheap, since a judgement against it could have cost the company as much as $3 billion in penalties.

“The settlement, which came days before a scheduled trial in federal court in Detroit, also resolves a $300 million verdict Valassis won last year against News Corp.’s News America Marketing,” Bloomberg writes. “Valassis alleged that News America violated federal antitrust law by coercing consumer packaged-goods companies into buying free-standing insert coupon booklets from it. News America used unfair business tactics to ‘illegally leverage its market dominance in the in-store advertising and promotions market to harm competition,’ Valassis said in its complaint.”

The story also notes that “under the settlement, News America will enter into a 10- year shared-mail distribution agreement with Valassis.”
KC's View:
Half-a-billion dollars sounds like a pretty good settlement to me.