Judge Tosses 'Live Nation Monopoly' Lawsuits
March 28, 2012 at 1:50 PM (PT)
A U.S. District Court judge essentially threw out two decade-old antitrust lawsuits against LIVE NATION ENTERTAINMENT, the L.A. BUSINESS JOURNAL reports. U.S. District JUDGE STEPHEN WILSON of LOS ANGELES granted summary judgments against lawsuits filed when the concert promoter and ticketing service was the live entertainment division of CLEAR CHANNEL COMMUNICATIONS.
According to THOMSON REUTERS, The Judge concluded in a 63-page decision that the plaintiffs' lead expert, UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING economist OWEN PHILLIPS, failed to properly define the relevant market, as required in monopoly cases. The Judge asserted that PHILLIPS has "no expertise" in rock music, faulting the plaintiff's witness for relying primarily on BILLBOARD magazine's artist biographies.
The suits dismissed on TUESDAY pertain to the LOS ANGELES and DENVER markets; three identical class-action suits regarding the CHICAGO, NEW JERSEY/NEW YORK and BOSTON are expected to soon be dismissed as well.
"We are extremely pleased with the judge's ruling in these cases, which validates our long-standing belief that they are without merit," LIVE NATION CEO MICHAEL RAPINO said in a statement. "We've spent a considerable amount of time and money to prove that we're right in this litigation. We refused to be held hostage by frivolous class action lawsuits, and now we've been vindicated."
The full text of the order can be found at http://www.wsgr.com/PDFs/clearchannel.pdf.