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Big h/t to ceebs for alerting me to this story.

From Business Insider:

Two separate statements from News Corp. appear to indicate that the company's News America Marketing — which handles its obscure but lucrative grocery coupon and in-store supermarket advertising advertising business — has lost 8,200 stores from its network.

It could be the beginning of a costly ad client mutiny for Rupert Murdoch's News, which has already seen Rite Aid, Family Dollar and Dial Corp. turn against it. Those store networks and advertisers are angry at News after litigation revealed it allegedly used illegal monopolistic practices to keep prices artificially high for its advertisers. news settled those allegations — which came from competing coupon and in-store agencies — for $656 million.

Dial Corp. then sued News, alleging it held an unfair monopoly over certain stores. Rite Aid and Family Dollar removed their stores from News sometime in early January.

The litigation mentioned in the above excerpt refers to the "Floorgraphics Scandal", described thusly in The New York Times:

In 2009, a federal case in New Jersey brought by a company called Floorgraphics went to trial, accusing News America of, wait for it, hacking its way into Floorgraphics’s password protected computer system.

The complaint summed up the ethos of News America nicely, saying it had “illegally accessed plaintiff’s computer system and obtained proprietary information” and “disseminated false, misleading and malicious information about the plaintiff.”

The complaint stated that the breach was traced to an I.P. address registered to News America and that after the break-in, Floorgraphics lost contracts from Safeway, Winn-Dixie and Piggly Wiggly.

News Corp. eventually settled this case for well over half a billion dollars. However, as this most recent development suggests, the settlement hasn't kept stores from fleeing Murdoch in droves.

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