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  • James Yamasaki
Twelve days ago, based on my reporting, I offered the following prediction:

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In 2011, the Great West Coast Newspaper War will be settled.

Today we hear from both sides (here and here) that the war has, in fact, been settled. As predicted, everyone's being very quiet about the terms of the settlement, with both parties referring only to "mutually acceptable terms."

To reprise a point made in my Dec. 22 post:

The fact that there is any deal at all between the cantankerous owners of the Village Voice Media alt-weekly empire and the equally cantankerous owner of the independent San Francisco Bay Guardian tells us something.

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After all, the owners of VVM (who also own the Seattle Weekly, the LA Weekly, and the Village Voice) spent much of 2010 deriding the absurdity of the San Francisco Bay Guardian's victory over them in a 2008 predatory pricing lawsuit. Then they spent the rest of 2010 predicting that the Bay Guardian's $22 million judgment against VVM would be overturned by higher courts. What happened? That $22 million judgment was upheld by two higher courts, most recently the California Supremes.

How much money just quietly changed hands between VVM and the Bay Guardian to make this whole mess go away? Probably less than $22 million, but probably a lot more than a dime. And then there's the lawyers' fees...

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