WASHINGTON — Turner Broadcasting System said Thursday that it had won its battle with the Bush Administration over providing Cable News Network and a satellite receiving station to Vietnam.
The Atlanta-based Turner said the Commerce and Treasury departments, which had refused Turner's request on grounds that the deal would violate a strict U.S. trade embargo against Vietnam, agreed Thursday to allow the company to deliver its 24-hour cable TV news channel to Vietnamese Television.
In return, Turner will drop a lawsuit it filed last week in U.S. District Court against the Treasury, Commerce and State departments seeking an injunction to overturn the government's refusal, said Bert Carp, Turner's vice president for government relations.
Turner had said it would provide the earth receiving station at no charge and the CNN signal for the price of 50 Vietnamese dong a year, less than one U.S. penny.
But the Administration, in agreeing to the deal, said Turner will not be allowed to collect any payment, according to an Administration official who spoke only on the condition of anonymity.
The Administration official said that in making its decision, the government considered "the importance of having U.S. news programs in Vietnam." At the same time, the Administration stuck to its guns over "strictly prohibiting" any money changing hands, the official said.