... For the next decade, [Kerry Packer's] Valassis and Murdoch's News America Marketing dominated the hugely profitable inserts market, deftly seeing off challengers. But relations cooled after Packer sold out of Valassis in 1997.
It's a tough market that got a lot tougher last year. It began when NAM lost its final appeal against a $US6.8 million ($7.7 million) damages award in 2005 to rival Floorgraphics for anti-competitive behaviour.
Last March, Floorgraphics claimed in a New Jersey court that NAM ran a dirty tricks campaign to force it out of business, including hacking into its computers 11 times in four years.
Three days into the trial, News Corp settled the case by buying Floorgraphics for an undisclosed sum. Unconfirmed speculation puts the cost at around $US200 million.
Floorgraphics' star witness was a former NAM employee, Robert Emmel, who had turned whistleblower, giving a copy of his computer's hard drive to US regulators. NAM sued Emmel for breach of confidence. ...
It's not the first time News has settled with a struggling company.
In 2002 it settled a $US1 billion industrial espionage case brought by the near-insolvent Canal Plus against News Corp's NDS arm, by agreeing to buy Canal Plus's Telepiu Italian pay TV operation, which held $US1 billion in debt..."
The whole story is well worth a read, considering who else he does deals with.