Clear Channel Cleared Of Antitrust

The Department of Justice has closed the books on two investigations into Clear Channel Communications, taking no action for alleged antitrust violations.

The San Antonio-based Clear Channel came under scrutiny in 2003. Federal officials said the company might have violated antitrust laws in one of its radio markets, which was never named. A second investigation involved the now-Live Nation subsidiary and focused on possible ties between Clear Channel radio airplay and the use of the company’s venues to the promotion services of then-Clear Channel Entertainment.

The DoJ closed both investigations in February. A department spokeswoman would only say that the investigations had closed with no action taken.

“I think the outcome of this was more in line with what was expected,” Barrington Research analyst James Goss told the San Antonio Express-News. “No news on this is good news for the company.”

Goss added that the spinoff of CCE may have prompted the DoJ to close the books because it might have deflected concern that there was current conflict between airplay and concert promotion.