Several months ago, Al Jazeera purchased Current TV from Al Gore and a business partner for an estimated $500 million. Al Gore and his business partner, Joel Hyatt are now suing Al Jazeera, which is owned by the Qatari royal family, for roughly $65 million, which they allege that Qatari network has withheld from them. While this kind of thing happens fairly regularly with major mergers and purchasers, this is a high profile case with internationally famous clients on both sides.
The Qatari royal family owns a number of foreign business interests in their attempt to diversify their wealth, and Al Gore is now worth hundreds of millions of dollars, as well as being a former Vice President and Presidential candidate. This is also a high profile case because the entire complain was made under seal, a difficult position for either party’s PR firms to be under, because they cannot describe the specifics without violating the terms of the suit.
Most of what we do know is that the sixty-five million dollars in dispute in in escrow already, and would not have to be come up with again by the Al Jazeera network. This means that Al Jazeera’s ownership of all of Current TV’s assets is not in doubt. It just means when and how that money will be paid out to Al Gore and Joel Hyatt is very much in doubt. For what its worth, Al Jazeera says that it has every intention of paying the money when certain legal requirements have been met, which have not been met yet, and claims that Gore and Hyatt’s lawsuit is simply a way for them to attempt to run around the contract and pull in money before it should legally be theirs. No court dates are known to be set yet.
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