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Turns out Hertz doesn’t have the stones to follow through on its lawsuit against Audit Integrity, as the car rental company has dropped its libel suit against the independent research firm.
Audit Integrity issued a report back in September that stated that Hertz was one of several companies that “face[d] ‘the greatest risk of bankruptcy’ in the next 12 months.” Hertz took the high road, suing Audit Integrity for saying such mean (and untruthful) things.
Well now Hertz has decided that it’s not worth the time and money. That very well may be, although were more inclined to think that they came to their senses that suing an independent research firm for their opinion wasn’t such a hot idea.
Hertz’s aborted suit joins the pantheon of other unsuccessful legal efforts by companies to silence disagreeable analysts. Those that brought such actions include BankAtlantic Bancorp, retailer Overstock.com and drug-maker Biovail.
Overstock suing an analyst for saying not-so-nice things? There’s a shocker. BankAtlantic went after DB’s favorite woodland creature, Dick Bové (which is sort of embarrassing since he’s so cuddly), and Biovail’s lawsuit caused the SEC and DOJ to launch investigations which resulted in the company paying millions in fines and pleading guilty to criminal charges. Not exactly pristine company.
Audit Integrity — not being one to just bend over for some a company that once was endorsed by a certain acquitted murderer — called on the SEC to investigate Hertz for this dodgy lawsuit and now Hertz seems to have seen the light.
Hertz puts brake on libel suit against analyst [Crain’s New York]
Hertz caves [Felix Salmon/Reuters]