Newark Morning Ledger Co. v. United States, 507 U.S. 546, 22 (1993)

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Cite as: 507 U. S. 546 (1993)

Opinion of the Court

duration of the relationships or the value of the relationships (based on their net income stream)" (emphasis in original)).

Petitioner's burden in this case was made significantly lighter by virtue of the Government's litigation strategy:

"[B]ecause of the stipulation reached by the parties, Morning Ledger need not prove either the specific useful lives of the paid subscribers of the Booth newspapers as of May 31, 1977, or that Dr. Glasser [its statistical expert] has correctly estimated those lives. In light of the stipulation, [the Government's] argument with regard to Dr. Glasser's estimation of the specific useful lives of the Booth subscribers is wholly irrelevant. Instead, Dr. Glasser's testimony establishes that qualified experts could estimate with reasonable accuracy the remaining useful lives of the paid subscribers of the Booth newspapers as of May 31, 1977." 734 F. Supp., at 181.

Petitioner also proved to the satisfaction of the District Court that the "paid subscribers" asset was not self-regenerating, thereby distinguishing it for purposes of applying the mass-asset rule:

"[T]here is no automatic replacement for a subscriber who terminates his or her subscription. Although the total number of subscribers may have or has remained relatively constant, the individual subscribers will not and have not remained the same, and those that may or have discontinued their subscriptions can be or have been replaced only through the substantial efforts of the Booth newspapers." Id., at 180.

The 460,000 "paid subscribers" constituted a finite set of subscriptions, existing on a particular date—May 31, 1977. The asset was not composed of constantly fluctuating components; rather, it consisted of identifiable subscriptions each


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