SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – California’s Supreme Court has declined to review a $21 million damage award against a San Francisco newspaper accused of slashing advertising prices to drive a rival publication out of business.

Only one of the court’s seven justices voted in favor of hearing the appeal by SF Weekly—far short of the majority needed.

A San Francisco judge awarded SF Weekly’s rival, the Bay Guardian, $21 million in 2008 after a jury ruled that SF Weekly had engaged in predatory pricing that cost the Bay Guardian revenue.

SF Weekly says its low-cost ads reflected fair competition and did not violate antitrust laws.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that attorneys for the papers declined to comment on a possible settlement the two sides are negotiating.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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