Al Gore Sues Al Jazeera Over $500M Current TV Deal

Image: Al Gore Sues Al Jazeera Over $500M Current TV Deal Former Vice President Al Gore. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Friday, 15 Aug 2014 01:37 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Former Vice President Al Gore is suing Al Jazeera for not paying the full $500 million price for his cable news network, Current TV.

Gore, who filed the lawsuit in Chancery Court in Wilmington, Delaware, Friday with Current TV co-founder Joel Hyatt, is being represented by lawyer David Boies, who was also his attorney in his bid to have a Florida recount in the 2000 presidential race he lost to George W. Bush, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"Al Jazeera wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago," said Boies. "We are asking the court to order Al Jazeera America to stop wrongfully withholding escrow funds that belong to Current’s former shareholders."

Boies and Al Jazeera have agreed to have the case sealed, even though Gore’s lawyer says he’s hoping it will eventually become public.

Current TV was sold in January 2013 to Al Jazeera, a Doha-based Arab news network owned by the Qatar royal family. It was believed that Al Jazeera wanted to take advantage of Current’s reasonable distribution deals with cable and satellite providers, the Reporter said.

But since it bought the news channel, Al Jazeera America has been sued by AT&T and DirecTV. The network was also cut off by Time Warner Cable for a time, but has since been reinstated.

Al Jazeera has struggled in the ratings since taking over the network, and the ratings at times have even dipped below Current TV levels.

Gore came under fire from several critics, including Comedy Central host Jon Stewart, for selling out to an oil-rich Middle East nation, one that appears to have has been supportive of Hamas in Israel’s war with the Palestinian terror group.

But Gore, an environmental activist, said at the time, "I’m proud of the transaction. It’s really going to be a positive addition to the U.S. media landscape."


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