Wow, this is a proud mark of the global influence of the financially puny New York Times: a story it did in June has prompted one of the world's richest men to sue his own brother for more than $2 billion. Awesome! Anil Ambani says that his brother Mukesh (they each inherited half of the massive Indian conglomerate Reliance) smeared his good name in the Times, so he had no choice but to sue him, the Times, and two Indian papers for 100 billion rupees. Here's the offending passage that set him off:
What most distinguishes Reliance from its rivals is what Mr. Ambani’s friends and associates describe as his “intelligence agency,” a network of lobbyists and spies in New Delhi who they say collect data about the vulnerabilities of the powerful, about the minutiae of bureaucrats’ schedules, about the activities of their competitors. Mr. Ambani said in the interview that all such activities were overseen by his brother before they split, and had since been expunged from his tranche of the company. “We de-merged all of that,” he says, breaking out in a belly laugh. A spokesman for Anil Ambani declined to comment.
Scandalous spying allegations! We don't even want to think about how many hours of legal work are going to go into this multinational multibillion-dollar libel battle between two of the world's richest industrialists. We'll just say that if we were Times reporter Anand Giridharadas we would totally put this on our resume, and also, if the Times loses, why not just turn over the whole paper as payment? [Times UK]