Dominion Voting Systems Defamation Suit Settles Last Minute for $787.5 Million fox corp. A key negotiator for the deal said Wednesday it was an important step toward getting Fox News to respond to false claims that the Dominion machine influenced the 2020 election.
“We’re delighted that we were able to achieve our goal of holding Fox accountable and exposing the truth,” Hootan Yaghoobzadeh, co-founder of private equity firm and Dominion owner Staple Street Capital, told CNBC’s Eamon Javers in an exclusive interview.
The settlement was reached on Monday, avoiding a lengthy trial just as opening arguments were scheduled to begin, between Fox Network boss Rupert Murdoch and the popular TV host Testify publicly. It abruptly ended one of the most significant cases against media organizations in years.
Hootan Yaghoobzadeh, co-founder of Staple Street Capital, speaks during a news conference outside the Delaware Superior Court in Wilmington, Delaware, April 18, 2023.
Samuel Kunlun | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Yaghoobzadeh was among those who reached a settlement agreement. On Friday, the presiding judge “really pushed the parties to see if they could come to a settlement,” he said.
He declined to say when Fox first made an offer, saying only that the initial amount was “not enough.” Dominion originally sought $1.6 billion in damages.
“We’re not willing to settle down until the wealth of information we’ve gained through the discovery process has had a chance to see the light of day,” he said.
Asked if there was any discussion of requiring Fox to issue a formal apology or forcing Fox anchors to apologize on-air, Yaghoobzadeh stressed, “Fox has acknowledged that they agree with the court’s ruling that the allegations surrounding Dominion are false and a lie. “
“For us, that’s the responsibility we want,” he said.
CNBC previously reported that the anchor would not have to acknowledge the settlement or apologize on air, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Yaghoobzadeh said the huge settlement will cover legal fees and taxes first. From there, it will be “distributed to shareholders, primarily management and employees,” he said.