Grand Theft Auto Maker Sues Chicago Transit Authority

    May 6, 2008

The publisher of the popular video game Grand Theft Auto IV, Take-Two has sued the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) for removing ads promoting the game.

Take-Two sued the transit authority in Manhattan federal court, saying the CTA violated its right to free speech and contractual rights by removing ads for the game from the transit system.

Grand Theft Auto IV

"Take-Two GTA IV advertisements promote an entirely lawful, mainstream entertainment product enjoyed by millions," Take-Two said in the complaint, alleging that the CTA used "improper content-based restrictions" to pull the ads.

Take-Two is accusing the CTA and its sales agent, Titan Outdoor LLC, of violating a $300,000 ad campaign agreement that included displaying Grand Theft Auto 4 posters on buses and transit display places. The ad campaign was scheduled to run for six weeks between April and June.

The suit is asking for the transit authority to run the ads and is also seeking monetary damages of  $300,000.

The advertisements were taken down after a Fox News affiliate questioned why the ads were allowed to run after a slew of violent crimes in Chicago, the suit said.

Previous Grand Theft Auto games have drawn criticism for depicting a variety of violent behavior.