Live Nation Settle Ticket-Fixing Claims

18 May 2012 | 2:55 pm | Celline Narinli

The case looks to be settled after a decade of court proceedings.

It appears the long running dispute over whether Live Nation, along with former parent Clear Channel, engaged in anticompetitive conduct will end in an out-of-court settlement.

In a case that has been running for a decade, it was alleged that the entertainment giant monopolised the ticket sales of live rock concerts and inflated ticketing prices. According to The Hollywood Reporter, following a meeting between the company's lawyers and a class of nationwide plaintiffs a California federal court was told last Tuesday that global settlement agreements were close to being finalised and that the decisions would lead to the dismissal of various claims. The terms of this agreement are not known.

The dispute rose in 2002, when Illinois resident - who later moved to Chicago - Malinda Heerwagenf, individually filed a putative class action against Clear Channel that alleged the corporation used its "national presence to set nationally uniform concert ticket prices for certain tours" and had engaged in “anticompetitive, predatory, and exclusionary practices in an effort to acquire, maintain and extend its monopoly power in a national ticket market for live rock concerts.”  

Her lawsuit was then followed by 22 other class action suits across the country.

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Plaintiffs from all over the globe relied heavily on their expert economist, Dr. Owen Phillips, who ran analyses on the corporation's ticketing situation. His findings were used to back up their claims of the escalating ticketing prices and the defendant's alleged anticompetitive behavior.  However, it was ruled in court that plaintiffs could not use Dr. Phillips' testimony as his research had relied on unreliable methodology and excluded multiple factors.