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Antitrust Suit Claims Philadelphia Orchestra Is Trying To Stifle Competition

 |  April 17, 2023

The Philly Pops filed a lawsuit on Thursday, alleging that the Philadelphia Orchestra violated federal antitrust laws by exerting control over local concert venues and ticketing services in an attempt to harm its smaller competitor, reported Billboard.

“Defendants have engaged … in unlawful, anticompetitive and predatory conduct with respect to the Philly POPS for the purpose and with the intent to force the Philly POPS out of business so that Philadelphia Orchestra could eliminate the Philly Pops as a competitor in and monopolize the market for live symphonic popular concert music concerts in the Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan Area,” lawyers for the Pops wrote.

The Philly Pops and Orchestra have co-existed peacefully, with the Pops focusing on symphonic renditions of popular music and the Orchestra sticking to classical symphonic. They have been marketed to different audiences with little overlap.

Philly Pops alleges that the Orchestra has engaged in anti-competitive behavior since last year, by encroaching on the pops space and attempting to undermine its smaller competitor. The lawsuit asserts that the Orchestra has achieved this primarily by exploiting its merger agreement and its access to Ticket Philadelphia, the main ticketing service for the Kimmel Center, which is the primary venue for orchestral performances in the city.