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US: Ticketmaster’s antitrust bid against Songkick tossed

 |  October 17, 2017

A California federal judge on Monday, October 16, tossed Live Nation and Ticketmaster’s bid for a quick win on some of Songkick’s antitrust claims against the ticketing giant and its subsidiary over their alleged monopoly on ticket sales, saying the parties disagree on the facts but there is “no question” that the suit stems from a restraint of trade.

Billboard reported that Live Nation’s CEO, Michael Rapino’s, comments, which were made public as part of an order by US District Judge Dale Fischer rejecting a motion to seal or redact files being entered into evidence, included that some of Ticketmaster’s fees are “not defendable” and that the company needs a “simpler more artist friendly policy/rule to meet the reality of today.”

Songkick, which sold its music sharing app to WMG earlier this year and announced last week that the rest of the business would soon be shuttered, is accusing Live Nation of anti-competitive practices and using inside information from former employees against it – leading to the recent departure from Ticketmaster of two employees central to the accusations.

In a statement to Billboard, Live Nation said that “documents cited indicate that Michael Rapino favored lower ticketing fees and changes to Ticketmaster’s Fan Club Policy that would benefit artists. We are at a loss to understand why that is a bad thing. The truth is that Songkick’s lawsuit has interfered with the natural evolution of these policies, harming both artists and fans.”

Both sides were in court on Monday as the judge heard arguments from both sides on whether or not Live Nation/Ticketmaster should be sanctioned for handing over some 4,000 documents — including those that form the core of Songkick’s allegations of theft of intellectual property — well past the deadline. Ticketmaster has argued that the delay was merely an oversight among the much larger volume of documents the company had handed over in a timely fashion.

Full Content: Ticket News

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