News International Fights Expensive Document Disclosures In Phone-Hacking Case
News International has argued against pricey document disclosures relating to civil damages in the ongoing phone hacking case, warning that the cost to the company might reach $12.1M. The branch of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has already spent $1.6M on disclosure searches of documents and emails pertaining to litigation, with consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers spending a further $5.6M. News International counsel Dinah Rose QC argued at a high court civil case management hearing that the disclosures served the interest of prosecuting legal teams and not their clients. They are claiming for compensation related to News International’s four-year denial of phone hacking, when no claimant has pleaded this. “That’s the source of this problem,” Rose said. “We have here a superstructure created not because of the claims of a particular claimant, but [because of] the interests of a legal team.” Meanwhile, the Metropolitan police investigation into phone hacking continues, with a senior counter-terrorism detective charged Monday with breaching the Official Secrets Act. Detective chief inspector April Casburn is charged with feeding information pertaining to the Met’s inquiry into phone hacking to staff at the News Of The World. Police have also made two more arrests in the computer hacking investigation. One is believed to be a former News Of The World journalist and the other a private investigator. – Joe Utichi
Nine Threatens To Call In Receivers
Australia’s Nine Entertainment has threatened to call in receivers or put the company up for sale if the lenders including U.S hedge funds Oaktree Capital and Apollo Group do not resume talks to restructure $2.2B in debt within seven days. Negotiations broke down last week after the hedge funds and Goldman Sachs, which manages mezzanine funds owed about $1B, could not agree on a valuation of Nine’s businesses. Whatever happens, one media analyst tells Deadline that private equity group CVC Asia Pacific, which bought Nine from James Packer in 2007, has lost its $1.9B equity. Last month Nine reduced its debt by selling ACP Magazines to Germany’s Bauer Group for an estimated $520 million.- Don Groves
‘Rise Of The Guardians’ To Receive Special Honor In Rome
DreamWorks Animation’s Rise Of The Guardians will receive the Vanity Fair award for Cinematic Excellence at the Rome Film Festival in November. DWA’s Jeffrey Katzenberg along with the film’s director Peter Ramsay and executive producer Guillermo del Toro will be on hand for the honor. The 7-year-old fest’s new prize is dedicated to a film “that best expresses the innovative, artistic and strategic contribution made by production and distribution companies that have distinguished themselves in the world of contemporary cinema.” The 3D adventure film will have its international premiere in Rome. Voice cast includes Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law and Isla Fisher. Rome runs from November 9 – 17.