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Tucson Citizen Lawsuit Filed by State Gets Dismissed; AG's Office Says Suit Unlikely to Force Change

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Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard filed a motion Tuesday afternoon to have his lawsuit against the owners of the Tucson Citizen dismissed because it wouldn't accomplish anything.

Goddard had already failed last week to convince a judge that he should force the owners, Gannett and Lee Enterprises, to keep publishing the 138-year-old newspaper. His lawsuit accused the companies of trying to eliminate competition and create a monopoly in violation of their federally approved joint-operating agreement.

In a prepared statement, Goddard's spokeswoman, Anne Hilby, said:

At this point, it was highly unlikely that any outcome of the litigation could lead to the reopening of the Tucson Citizen, elimination of anti-competitive activity or a reestablishment of competitive voices in the Tucson newspaper market.

The paper continues to live on in cyberspace -- without any reporters. Gannett and Lee will continue to split profits 50-50 from the Web site and the other newspaper in the JOA, the Arizona Daily Star.

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