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WPP blocked in legal fight with Spot Runner

NEW YORK - WPP has suffered a setback in a lawsuit it brought against Spot Runner, a digital ad technology company in which it owns a 3% stake, but will still pursue its case.

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WPP invested $10m in Spot Runner in 2006 and $1.7m in 2007. In April this year it launched a lawsuit claiming that the two founders and other investors misled it by not revealing they had sold $54m of their shares.

However, it has emerged that WPP was rebuffed by a federal judge earlier this month, who ruled that Spot Runner general counsel Peter Huie had not misrepresented facts in an emailed answer to WPP.

The judge wrote: "Plaintiff may have misread Huie's email, but such a misunderstanding cannot form the basis for a claim, absent any facts indicating that plaintiff was likely to misinterpret Huie's truthful statements."

WPP has said it will continue with the case and amend its filing; it has until October 12 to do so.

According to WPP, Spot Runner has lost more than $80m since it was founded in 2004.

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