Indie Promoter IMP Anti-Trust Lawsuit vs. Live Nation Dismissed
A federal court in Maryland ruled in favor of Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE:LYV) and dismissed all claims in a lawsuit filed in 2009 by indie promoter Seth Hurwitz' It's My Party, Inc., and It's My Amphitheatre, Inc. The lawsuit alleged violations of federal and state antitrust laws.
The lawsuit argued that Live Nation had violated state and federal law by deliberately acquiring monopoly control of the market, but the judge disagreed. "Quite simply, plaintiffs in this case have failed to produce or cite evidence that Live Nation's conduct violates the antitrust laws," U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz wrote in his opinion.
Motz conceded that "Live Nation is undisputedly large, and utilizes its size and global reach to sign artists to exclusive contracts and steer them to perform in venues that it owns" but that this did not constitute a monopoly.
"This claim must necessarily fail because I have concluded that Live Nation has not engaged in anticompetitive acts, either through illegal tying arrangements, a refusal to deal, or exclusive dealing," Mott wrote.
In a statement following the ruling, a spokesperson for Live Nation said: "We are very pleased with the judge's ruling, which we believe validates Live Nation's business approach and practices, and which aligns with our long-standing belief that the accusations made in this case were completely false. We feel vindicated that the court was able to see through the baseless allegations by a rival promoter and recognize that the claims of anti-competitive conduct had no merit. Our focus is, and will continue to be, providing a world-class live music experience for artists and their millions of fans."
Hurwitz released a statement of his own to Baltimore's City Paper:
"So here’s the deal on this whole thing," Hurwitz states, "the ruling was supposed to be about whether or not there was enough of a case to go to trial. Plain and simple. And they successfully drew the judge into trying the case before that. So I have to give them that.
"But that’s not how it’s supposed to go down, and we are appealing on that basis. We are asking for a ruling that this is supposed to go to trial.
"While I am certainly known as a dog that just will not let go of a piece of meat, the fact is that I am the last one to want to be in denial on something like this. I prefer to get over defeats and put them behind me as soon as I can.
"I don’t believe that legally we have been allowed to have the fight we are entitled to, and we are going to fight to have that opportunity. If we get beat on that, then I suppose I might have to admit defeat. Maybe."
– via CelebrityAccess