Matt McGinnis Comments on Fox/Dominion Settlement in The Wall Street Journal
Fox News $787 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems is the largest publicly known defamation settlement in U.S. history involving a media company. Buyout firm Staple Street Capital, who paid ~$38 million for 76% share of Dominion in 2018, reaped tremendous benefits, despite significant upfront legal costs.
n the Wall Street Journal, litigation & enforcement partner Matt McGinnis commented on the headline grabbing settlement and why, related fees and reputational harm aside, the deal is a big win for Staple Street Capital.
“Providing such losses in a court is always hard and verdicts can’t be predicted with certainty but given the size of the settlement, Fox likely determined there was a real risk that Dominion could have prevailed at trial,” said Matt.
“Despite the probability that Dominion did in fact suffer losses, the pretrial settlement is still a big win for the company and its shareholders,” said Matt. “There’s probably a very good argument that they were harmed, but that doesn’t totally detract from the fact that it was a good return on investment.”
Dominion and Staple Street haven’t disclosed their legal costs, but given the complex makeup of attorney’s fees, Matt noted it’s safe to assume they will be “a meaningful portion” of the award.