Judge Reserves Decision Over RAJAR Court Case

Judge Reserves Decision Over RAJAR Court Case

A High Court judge yesterday requested more time to consider whether Kelvin MacKenzie’s multimillion pound law suit against RAJAR should proceed to trial next year.

RAJAR had been hoping that His Honour Mr Justice Lloyd would strike out MacKenzie’s claims that alleged flaws in the radio rating’s body’s research have caused his flagship talkSPORT radio station to lose millions of pounds in revenue (see MacKenzie To Claim £66 Million In Damages From RAJAR).

However, the judge yesterday deferred his decision until December, despite arguments from RAJAR’s barrister Nick Green that MacKenzie’s Wireless Group did not have a case and that its claim should be struck out before getting as far as an actual trial.

RAJAR managing director, Sally de la Bedoyere, said: “We are pleased we have been able to explain our application for a strike out. We have always considered this case to be based on a ludicrous and inaccurate assumption and therefore we are confident that the Wireless Group case will be struck out.”

The Wireless Group’s argument centres around the claim that its audiences are being underestimated because of RAJAR’s decision not to replace its diary system of audience measurement with a new electronic method. The company believes this constitutes a breach of competition law (see RAJAR Moves To Have MacKenzie Law Suit Thrown Out).

However, RAJAR yesterday insisted the case lacked credibility and accused MacKenzie of talking ‘hot air’ to raise the profile of his Wireless Group. The company’s barrister argued that a High Court trial would cost more than the £800,000 RAJAR had invested in research into electronic measurement.

His Honour Mr Justice Lloyd Justice Lloyd told the court at the end of the two-day session that he would examine all the evidence and deliver a verdict on whether or not the case should be allowed to proceed to trial sometime next month.

Last month RAJAR revealed its intention to carry out what it claims are “pioneering” tests of three different audiometers as part of plans to upgrade its existing diary system of audience measurement to a new electronic method by 2007. The Audiometer Validation Test will take place this month to determine how well the Arbitron Portable Meter, the Eurisko NOP World Media Media Monitor and the GfK/Telecontrol MediaWatch measure listening to 33 different radio stations (see RAJAR To Carry Out ‘Pioneering’ Audiometer Tests).RAJAR: 020 7903 535 www.rajar.co.uk

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