Israel Today, the free newspaper owned by casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, has asked a court to halt its acquisition of Ma'ariv news portal nrg, due to confusion over the fate of the maariv.co.il Internet domain.
The confusion stems from the distribution of the assets of the bankrupt Ma’ariv newspaper, according to Globes financial newspaper. While Israel Today acquired Ma’ariv’s digital assets, under the nrg brand, the print assets were acquired by The Jerusalem Post.
Israel Today turned to the court when it learned that court-appointed trustee Chen Berdachev was planning to transfer the maariv.co.il domain to The Jerusalem Post as part of the Ma'ariv assets.
Israel Today argues that it has ownership of the domain, as part of the acquisition of Ma'ariv's digital activity, because this Internet address transfers users to nrg's site.
The Jerusalem Post is preparing to host the website of its new weekly, Ma'ariv Hashavua, on the maariv.co.il domain.
Israel Today asked the court to order Berdachev to desist from separating the assets until the domain issue is sorted out.
"This is another attempt by Israel Today to take over Israel's newspaper market by force, aggression, and crudity," a senior Ma'ariv source told Globes. "There is no connection between nrg and Ma'ariv. There is no innocence or good faith here, not with the timing of the motion to the court, or in the motion itself. They're trying to get their hands on Ma'ariv."
Israel Today said that the parties were in contact on the proper and fair distribution of Ma'ariv assets.