Aug 15 Current TV founders Al Gore and Joel
Hyatt filed a lawsuit on Friday against Al Jazeera, claiming the
Qatar-based broadcaster owes them millions of dollars after it
bought Current TV.
Al Jazeera acquired Current TV for an estimated $500 million
in 2013. Gore and Hyatt are suing for fraud and numerous
material breaches of the acquisition.
David Boies, the attorney representing Gore and Hyatt, said
in a statement, "Al Jazeera America wants to give itself a
discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two
years ago. We are asking the Court to order Al Jazeera America
to stop wrongfully withholding the escrow funds that belong to
Current's former shareholders."
Al Jazeera spokeswoman Dawn Bridges said its outside counsel
is reviewing the complaint.
"We think it relates to a commercial dispute between former
shareholders of Current Media and Al Jazeera America," she said.
The lawsuit filed in Delaware Court of Chancery is under
Al Jazeera used its acquisition of Current TV to kick start
its efforts to launch a U.S.-based news channel to compete with
the likes of CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.
The deal brought the channel, which is backed by the emir of
Qatar and his family, into about 40 million U.S. households but
was met with resistance from some cable and telecommunication
companies. For instance, in June, AT&T and Al Jazeera
settled a lawsuit over AT&T's refusal to carry the channel
because of a dispute over the terms of a contract. [ID:
The channel has struggled to gain traction in the United
States and has low ratings.
(Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Dan