First on FishbowlDC: Federal News Service, Inc. (FNS) filed a lawsuit against Congressional Quarterly (CQ), Inc., its parent companies Times Publishing Company, the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, its subsidiary CQ Transcriptions, Inc., and its exclusive vendor Morningside Partners, LLC in DC federal court this morning. The lawsuit also named CQ’s President, Robert Merry, and Stephen Carr Davis and Anthony O’Brien, co-owners of Morningside Partners.
The complaint alleges that the defendants attempted to monopolize the fast turnaround verbatim transcript market through “a series of anti-competitive acts and practices to force FNS out of business.”
The complaint claims of the defendants:
Engaging in corporate espionage and corporate theft to obtain proprietary, confidential and privileged FNS information
Engaging in systematic, illegal access to and taking from FNS corporate online databases and stealing proprietary copyrighted and trademarked products and other confidential materials
Engaging in predatory and anticompetitive hiring practices aimed at taking away key FNS employees
Engaging in a series of attempts to acquire FNS in order to eliminate FNS from the market
Engaging in an anticompetitive strategy of bundling its non-transcript products at no cost with its transcript products
FishbowlDC contacted FNS, Morningside Partners, CQ and Times Publishing but only received response from Times Publishing. We will update when we receive their comment and additional information.