In today's San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko reports that "SF Weekly penalty could rise to $15.6 million":
Judge Marla Miller of San Francisco Superior Court said she believes she's required under state law to increase the damages and issue an injunction in light of the jury's March 5 verdict that the SF Weekly, part of a national chain of alternative newspapers, cut its advertising rates below its costs to undermine the locally owned Guardian.
The jury awarded $6.3 million to the Guardian for its losses. Miller, in what she described as a tentative decision, said Friday she would triple the portion of those damages that equals one year of losses, bringing the total to $15.6 million, and prohibit the Weekly from selling below-cost ads in order to hurt the Guardian.
My prior post on this interesting Unfair Practices Act (and UCL) case is here. Business & Professions Code section 17082 requires trebling of any damages award in a UPA case ("any plaintiff in any such action shall be entitled to recover three times the amount of the actual damages, if any, sustained by the plaintiff"). It is unclear why the trebling would be limited to "one year of losses," however.
UPDATE: On May 20, 2008, the Daily Journal reported that "Judge Increases Jury Award for S.F. Newspaper" (subscription). According to the article, Judge Miller trebled the damages to $15.6 million and "issued a 10-year injunction forbidding SF Weekly, the Guardian's competitor and the defendant in the unfair competition case, from selling display advertisements below cost."