Tuesday, June 06, 2006

CC and Live Nation in Antitrust Trouble

Despite their best efforts, Live Nation and Clear Channel have once again found themselves in hot water. In a suit filed last week in Denver, the two companies have come under fire for railroading performers, unreasonably jacking up ticket prices, and undermining competition. According to the proposed class action suit, Live Nation tied radio play and use of their venues to performers' agreement to use their promotional services.

While this case is limited only to ticket holders in Denver and the surrounding region, if they win it could have wider-sweeping ramifications. Clear Channel had been under scrutiny for some years because of these allegations and the spin off of Live Nation was due at least in part to these concerns, ostensibly closing the case.

Though I am sometimes known to defend Live Nation as a good promotion company (gasp!hiss! hiss!). The fact does remain that Clear Channel and Live Nation are WAAYYY too closely intertwined (see Live Nation's BoD here - all the top brass of CC have seats). If there's no funny business they should have no problem truly going their separate ways. Right guys?

Full Reuters article here

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