ST. LOUIS (AP) _ About 100 former carriers for the defunct St. Louis Globe-Democrat will accept $3 million to settle an antitrust suit against Pulitzer Publishing Co. and The Herald Co., which published the newspaper.

''Under the circumstances of the case, we felt it was a favorable settlement from the perspective of both sides.'' said David Capes, a lawyer representing the carriers.

The 98 carriers or their estates sought $83.4 million in damages in their 1987 suit.

The carriers alleged that Pulitzer, which publishes the St. Louis Post- Dispatch, and Herald conspired to create an illegal monopoly to put The Globe-Democrat out of business.

The suit says the sale of the paper to Jeffrey and Debra Gluck was a sham because the couple lacked resources to keep the Globe operating. It contended that Pulitzer and Herald overlooked more qualified buyers, such as the Oakland, Calif., Tribune, in an effort to produce a monopoly in St. Louis.

In February 1984 - with Justice Department approval - some assets of The Globe-Democrat were sold to the Glucks, who published the newspaper until September 1985. The paper was then sold to Veritas Co., which published it from January 1986 to October 1986.

Ted Perryman, a lawyer for The Herald Co., said the settlement reached last week satisfied all parties.

Pulitzer said it was confident it would prevail in the suit, but made a business decision to settle to avoid the time and expense of fighting it.