SMG asks feds to investigate city's facilities contract
Operator of Jacksonville's entertainment facilities requests anti-trust inquiry
In the latest salvo between companies who want to manage EverBank Field and six other city facilities, SMG has requested that the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission investigate Global Spectrum for using its cable television clout to create a monopoly in Jacksonville.
A city of Jacksonville committee voted in August to award the contract held for two decades to rival Global Spectrum, an affiliate of Comcast.
In letters to the DOJ and FTC dated last week, an attorney for SMG said Comcast is offering the city 500, 30-second commercials on its cable channels promoting events in Jacksonville facilities -- an offer valued at $225,000 -- and other incentives.
At state is the contract to managed the stadium, Veterans Memorial Arena, Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville and Prime Osborn Convention Center.
DOCUMENTS: SMG letter to DOJ | SMG letter to FTC
The committee's recommendation to award the contract to Global Spectrum is non-binding. Mayor Alvin Brown will make the final choice.
Complicating the decision is that the Jacksonville Jaguars are on the record has wanting SMG to continue managing EverBank Field, and the NFL team's lease says the team has to agree on which company manages the facility.
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