LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former Vice President Al Gore is suing Al Jazeera America, saying the news network is withholding tens of millions of dollars that it owes for buying Current TV from him and other shareholders for $500 million last year.
David Boies, Gore’s attorney, said in a statement that Al Jazeera America “wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago.” He said the suit was filed in Delaware Court of Chancery on Friday.
…The Qatar-owned news channel took over Current TV’s signal last August and hired a slew of U.S. TV news veterans like Soledad O’Brien and John Seigenthaler. It is available in nearly 60 million U.S. homes.
Gore and co-founder and former Current TV CEO Joel Hyatt each had 20 percent stakes in Current, while Comcast Corp. had less than a 10 percent stake. Another major investor in Current TV was supermarket magnate and entertainment industry investor Ron Burkle.
Further from Politico:
“Al Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago,” Boies said in a statement. “We are asking the Court to order Al Jazeera America to stop wrongfully withholding the escrow funds that belong to Current’s former shareholders.”
The complaint has been filed under seal at the request of Al Jazeera, though Gore and Hyatt have filed a motion seeking to unseal it.
“We do not believe that our complaint should be sealed,” Boies said. “However, despite being a news organization, Al Jazeera America has said that the full complaint should be kept from the public file. We have therefore filed the complaint under seal until the Court can resolve this issue. We expect that the Court will reject Al Jazeera America’s argument.”
Dawn Bridges, executive vice president of Communications for Al Jazeera, says the organization is reviewing the complaint.
“Our outside counsel is reviewing the complaint,” Bridges wrote in an email. “We think it relates to a commercial dispute between former shareholders of Current Media and Al Jazeera America.”
“We may have further comment once they’ve fully reviewed everything,” she wrote.