Judge Allows Class-Action Against Clear Channel
October 24, 2007 at 9:35 AM (PT)
A UNITED STATES District Court judge gave the green light to a class-action lawsuit claiming CLEAR CHANNEL COMMUNICATIONS used its market dominance to illegally inflate ticket prices to live rock concerts across the country.
The opinion issued by Judge STEPHEN V. WILSON grants class-action status to five lawsuits on behalf of concertgoers in regions across the UNITED STATES, which are being lead by the SEATTLE-based law firm HAGENS BERMAN SOBOL SHAPIRO. The suits claim that CLEAR CHANNEL used its market dominance in anticompetitive activities that unfairly increased ticket prices for consumers and coerced artists to use CLEAR CHANNEL for concert promotion.
... we intend to argue that it is leveraging its size and industry clout to exploit consumers and artists by eliminating the choices available to them and keeping ticket prices and concert promotion rates unreasonably high.
"CLEAR CHANNEL is a multi-billion dollar international media conglomerate and we intend to argue that it is leveraging its size and industry clout to exploit consumers and artists by eliminating the choices available to them and keeping ticket prices and concert promotion rates unreasonably high," said HBSS attorney BETH FEGAN.
Plaintiffs claim that CLEAR CHANNEL uses predatory practices to keep potential competitors from entering regional markets. In some cases, the complaints state, CLEAR CHANNEL bids up the fees paid to artists so it becomes impossible for other promoters to compete.
The Court originally designated five "test" regions -- including the CHICAGO region, DENVER region, NEW ENGLAND region, NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY region and SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA region -- for certification proceedings. The Court's decision unanimously found all five test regions suitable for class certification.
Now, the certified classes include any person who purchased a live rock concert ticket in those regions during the period of JUNE 19th, 1998 to present. Plaintiffs believe that that the remaining 18 regions should be similarly certified.
The suit cites that CLEAR CHANNEL violated the SHERMAN ACT for attempting and achieving monopolization. The suit seeks relief for plaintiffs and members of the class for company's unjust enrichment as the result of unlawful conduct.
Clear Channel Responds
A CLEAR CHANNEL spokeperson released the following statement: ""The claims made by the plaintiffs are erroneous, misleading and completely without merit. We look forward to proving that it court."