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Al Gore sues Al Jazeera over unpaid $500 million from Current TV sale

By Daniel S Levine,

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and his Current TV co-founder Joel Hyatt are suing Al Jazeera over last year’s sale of Current TV to the news agency. Gore and Hyatt claim that Al Jazeera has not paid all of the $500 million it agreed to.

Back in January 2013, Gore and Hyatt announced that Al Jazeera was buying their struggling left-leaning news network for $500 million.

However, as the Hollywood Reporter confirmed, the two have filed a breach of contract lawsuit in the Delaware Court of Chancery, alleging that Al Jazeera hasn’t paid all of that money still, nearly two years later.

“Al Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago,” attorney David Boies, who is representing Gore, 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.”

Boies also said that the lawsuit is being filed under seal because Al Jazeera requested it. Variety notes that Boies did file a motion to make the lawsuit public.

Al Jazeera, the international news organization owned by the Qatari royal family, bought Current TV in the hopes of launching Al Jazeera America in most U.S. homes. Time Warner Cable instantly dropped Al Jazeera America hours after the deal was announced. TWC did later bring back the network.

When the deal was announced, Al Jazeera America hired many top journalists from American networks, but ratings have never been good, often even worse than what Current TV had. Gore also faced widespread criticism for selling his network to a family that is made rich from oil, even though Gore has been an advocate for environmentalism.

“Our outside counsel is reviewing the complaint. We think it relates to a commercial dispute between former shareholders of Current Media and Al Jazeera America,” the network said in a statement. “We may have further comment once they’ve fully reviewed everything."

image courtesy of Roger Wong/INFevents.com

 
 

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