A judge has ruled that the Bay Guardian’s predatory pricing lawsuit against SF Weekly and its parent company can go to trial. The Guardian, headed by Bruce Brugmann (pictured), claims in the suit that the Weekly was selling ads at below cost in order to run his paper out of business. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard A. Kramer on Thursday rejected three motions from the Weekly to have the case thrown out of court. One of them claimed the Guardian’s suit was a threat to the First Amendment rights of the Weekly, because if the paper was forced to quit selling discounted ads it might have to cut editorial space and staff. The Guardian’s lawyer said in court that the SF Weekly has lost money every year since 1995, and those losses have only increased over time, to as much as $2 million a year. The trial is set to start the day after New Year’s.
Both papers covered Thursday’s hearing and put different spins on the judge’s decision: