Bruning won't seek multistate antitrust action against LexisNexis

Chris Rizo Aug. 8, 2009, 3:36pm

Jon Bruning (R)

LINCOLN, Neb. (Legal Newsline)-Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning will not seek a multistate antitrust case against LexisNexis, his spokeswoman told Legal Newsline.

The Republican and president of the National Association of Attorneys General had threatened to seek legal action against the Ohio-based electronic publisher for what he said were antitrust issues.

Leah Bucco-White, the attorney general's communications director, said Bruning has had discussions with LexisNexis officials since he raised concerns to the company last week at the meeting of the Conference of Western Attorneys General in Sun Valley, Idaho.

"AG Bruning had conversations with LexisNexis management, and they have satisfactorily addressed his concerns," Bucco-White said.

In an interview at the CWAG meeting, Bruning told Legal Newsline that he had concerns about how the data mining company was doing business, and that he was considering whether to ask fellow attorneys general to create a task force to examine LexisNexis and its business practices.

Among other things, Bruning said the company had a monopoly on the legal search and data collection market, a claim that the company vigorously disputed.

Bruning also alleged that LexisNexis places spyware -- or bots -- on its subscribers' computers.

"I have some grave concerns about how LexisNexis does business, and we're going to pursue that," Bruning told Legal Newsline. "The point at which Americans have spyware placed on their computers without their permission, I become very concerned."

In the interview, Bruing also took issue with the non-compete lawsuit LexisNexis has filed against technology entrepreneur Hank Asher of Florida, the man behind FairPlay, a computer program that allows authorities to track child pornography trading on peer-to-peer networks such as LiveWire and Gnutella.

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