2/21/97 HyperLaw, Inc.®

DOJ Antitrust Review of Thomson/West Merger Page

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"The Department of Justice and the State Attorneys General have served up a glass that is 90% empty, and the 10% in the glass is watered down." Alan D. Sugarman, HyperLaw, July 10, 1996."
SEE NEW DOJ NEWS ITEMS Thursday, February 27, 1997.
For related news stories, see HyperLaw In the News.

Department of Justice Web Page DOJ v. Thomson

  • A See No-Evil Merger Probe?, Connecticut Law Tribune, February 24, 1997, "HyperLaw Contends the public needs to see secret Lexis-West pact to fathom the West-Thomson mergers, and that Justice went soft on antitrust investigation." Considers the hearing before Judge Friedman on February 6, 1996, DOJ v. West-Thomson. HyperLaw President Alan D. Sugarman pictured.

    American Association of Law Libaries, letter by Robert L. Oakley, Washington Affairs Representative of AALL, to Judge Paul L. Friedman, February 22, 1997 Included in this letter is a March, 1996 letter from AALL to DOJ, which, apparently, was not provided to the Court because it was sent prior to the commencement of the Tunney Act notice period, which was July to early September, 1996.

    Hyperlaw's Response To Plaintiffs' amicus Curiae Opposition Brief To Motion To Intervene Submitted to Judge Friedman Friday, February 21, 1997

    Amicus Hyperlaw's First Amended Memorandum In Support Of Its Motion To Intervene, February 12, 1997

    Transcript - Conference before Judge Friedman, February 6, 1996 -- USA v. Thomson, 96 CV 1415, USDC District of Columbia Judge Friedman raises further questions, criticizes Department of Justice, objects to provisions in new license agreement proposal, objects to divesture to Lexis, and invites HyperLaw to file an expanded motion to intervene.

    December 23, 1996 Judge Friedman Opinion courtesy of Taxpayer Assets Project -- http://www.essential.org/cpt/antitrust/west.html

    HyperLaw Comments Re West Spin Control Press Release -- Judge Friedman Ruling - December 26, 1996

    Docket -- USA v. Thomson, 96 CV 1415, USDC District of Columbia"
    Docket sheet last updated by Court November 20, 1996.


    HyperLaw Amicus Curiae Brief October 16, 1996

    Docket -- USA v. Thomson, 96 CV 1415, USDC District of Columbia"
    Docket sheet of proceedings current to November 20, 1996.

    Public Comments and DOJ Responses as published in the Federal Register, October 11, 1996-- search for thomson AND west

    NEW OCTOBER 14, 1996.
    DOJ Response to Comments -- September 23, 1996
    A Word Perfect For Windows Version may be found at DOJ's Site: "United States v. Thomson Documents" DOJ did not include a copy of the cross-reference table included in the version filed in court which purported to permit correlation between the comments filed prior to September 3, 1996 and the DOJ response.

    NEW OCTOBER 10, 1996.
    HyperLaw October 10, 1996 Letter to DOJ requesting that DOJ make available to the public, as required by the Tunney Act, documents on which the proposed consent decree is based.
    This letter includes a discussion of the 1988 Secret License Agreements between West and Lexis which are the counterpoints to DOJ's Proposed License Agreement for everyone else. Included is language from 1976 and 1988 complaints.

    NEW OCTOBER 10, 1996.
    HyperLaw Request to DOJ to file an Amcius Brief concerning West claims to the copyright of the text of judicial opinions
    This request was denied by DOJ on October 3, 1996.

    NEW OCTOBER 9, 1996.

    HyperLaw Motion Re DOJ Failure to Comply With Publication in DOJ v. West-Thomson, September 30, 1996
    This motion was granted in part by an order of Judge Friedman on October 9, 1996. HyperLaw's Response is due October 16, 1996. The Government's Response is due October 23, 1996.
    NEW OCTOBER 7, 1996.

    Transcript - Hearing, September 30, 1996 -- USA v. Thomson, 96 CV 1415, USDC District of Columbia

    SEPTEMBER 16-17, 1996.
    Judge Richey who is presiding over DOJ v. Thomson is the author of a book published by a Thomson company, Clark Boardman Callaghan. HyperLaw has brought this to this attention of the Court in a letter filed with the Court Monday morning and suggested that there is at the very least an appearance of impropriety. On September 17, 1996, the case was then assigned to Judge Friedman.
    HyperLaw Letter to Judge Richey Re Conflict DOJ v. West-Thomson, September 15, 1996

    SEPTEMBER 16-17, 1996.
    Thomson Letter to Lexis (Reed) dated August 30, 1996 filed by Lexis Nexis

    HyperLaw has filed MOTION OF HYPERLAW, INC. TO PARTICIPATE AS AMICUS CURIAE IN OPPOSITION TO ENTRY OF PROPOSED FINAL JUDGMENT. Among other things, HyperLaw asked the court to require West and Lexis to disclose the terms of their secret 1988 agreements. See:
    HyperLaw Motion To File Amicus Curiae in DOJ v. West-Thomson, September 12, 1996

    Lexis-Nexis also filed on September 12, 1996 a multi-volume Motion to Intervene with numerous exhibits from publishers and law librarians supporting the Lexis-Nexis motion. Once we receive the electronic version, it will be posted. Following is a letter included in the filing. NEW SEPTEMBER 16-17, 1996.
    Thomson Letter to Lexis (Reed) dated August 30, 1996 filed by Lexis Nexis

    Final comments to the Department of Justice were due September 3, 1996. DOJ is required to provide its responses to Judge Richey on September 23, 1996. A hearing is scheduled for September 30, 1996. Following are comments that were made subsequent to the filing of the proposed Consent Decree.

    HyperLaw Comments
    HyperLaw Final Letter to DOJ Re Thomson/West, September 3, 1996,
    HyperLaw Second Comment Letter to DOJ Re Thomson/West, June 28, 1996
    HyperLaw First Comment Letter to DOJ Re Thomson/West, June 26, 1996

    California Reporter of Decision Asks California Attorney General to Withdraw Consent to Merger
    Comment Letter by Edward Jessen, Reporter of Decisions, State of California and Letter to California Attorney General

    Lexis-Nexis Comments
    Comment Letter by Gary Reback on behalf of Lexis-Nexis.

    Matthew Bender Comments
    Comment Letter by Irell and Minella on behalf of Matthew Bender & Company.

    American Association of Law Libraries
    American Association of Law Libraries comments.

    CD-LAW, Inc..

    Taxpayer Assets Project
    Taxpayer Assets Project Comments.

    John Lederer Letter
    John Lederer Letter to DOJ Re Thomson/West September, 1996

    AMERICAN LAWYER ARTICLE - Not available. Check Counsel Connect.
    The September issue of the American Lawyer contains an extensive article by John Morris on the settlement negotiations. Conclusion: the consent decree "was hardly a great victory for consumers. The real winners were Thomson and its lawyers from Shearman and Sterling." According to the article, Thomson offerred up the license agreement "as a ploy to force the government's hand." Although the Antitrust Division tries to make it sound like the agreement was carefully reviewed and negotiated, according to the article, DOJ signed off on the deal "at 4 A.M. on Friday, June 7, 1996 -- fewer than three days after Thomson had made the offer on the page license ..."

    Other Documents
    "Competitive Impact Statement Published in Federal Register July 5, 1996."
    This document details the Department of Justice rationale for the proposed consent decree. One revealing statement: West had only issued two licenses of star pagination in the past. We assume the two are: the 1988 license to Lexis after West sued Lexis and the 1995 license to a small publisher Juris that West publicized in an effort to show that it "routinely" offered licenses.

    "United States v. Thomson Documents"
    The Complaint and Stipulation and Order filed June 19,1 996, which includes the proposed License Agreement, may be found at this Department of Justice site.

    DOJ Consent Order in West/Thomson Merger and HyperLaw Comments, June 26, 1996

    "HyperLaw Third Comment Letter to DOJ Re Thomson/West, September 3, 1996, 1996"

    "Docket -- USA v. Thomson, 96 CV 1415, USDC District of Columbia"
    Docket sheet of proceedings. Contains scheduling information and other important data concerning the review of the Consent Decree proposed by DOJ, Thomson, and West. The case was assigned to Judge Richey. A hearing is scheduled for September 30, 1996.
    Entry No. VI-27, Docket Sheet Excerpt, West v. Mead, 4- 85-931, District of Minnesota, attached hereto as Exhibit 2.

  • 1987 Antitrust Complaint -- Mead v. West.

    "US v. Microsoft, 56 F.3d 1148 (D.C. Cir 1995) -- Limitations on review by a federal district court in determining whether a consent decree negotiated by the Department of Justice is in the Public Interest"
    This 1995 opinion is mandatory reading in order to understand what Judge Richey may consider at the September 30, 1996 hearing.