Live Nation Antitrust Suit Dismissed

A Maryland federal court ruled Feb. 19 in favor of Live Nation Entertainment and dismissed all claims in an antitrust lawsuit filed in 2009 by Seth Hurwitz-owned It’s My Party and It’s My Amphitheatre.

U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz issued a ruling that said “plaintiffs in this case have failed to produce or cite evidence that Live Nation’s conduct violates the antitrust laws,” according to Baltimore’s City Paper.

Live Nation issued the following statement regarding the ruling:

“We are very pleased with the judge’s ruling, which we believe validates Live Nation’s business approach and practices, and which aligns with our long-standing belief that the accusations made in this case were completely false. We feel vindicated that the court was able to see through the baseless allegations by a rival promoter and recognize that the claims of anti-competitive conduct had no merit.

“Our focus is, and will continue to be, providing a world-class live music experience for artists and their millions of fans.”

I.M.P. filed antitrust claims under the Sherman and Clayton acts, as well as Maryland Antitrust Act and common law claims for tortious interference with contracts and unfair competition. It charged Live Nation with deliberately and illegally acquiring monopoly power in the concert promotion business and was seeking compensatory, treble and punitive damages plus attorneys’ fees and injunctive relief.

I.M.P. Chairman Seth Hurwitz, operator of Merriweather Post Pavilion and co-owner of Washington, D.C.’s 9:30 Club said he will appeal, and also issued a statement:

“The ruling was supposed to be about whether or not there was enough of a case to go to trial. Plain and simple. And they successfully drew the judge into trying the case before that. So I have to give them that.

“But that’s not how it’s supposed to go down, and we are appealing on that basis. We are asking for a ruling that this is supposed to go to trial.

“While I am certainly known as a dog that just will not let go of a piece of meat, the fact is that I am the last one to want to be in denial on something like this. I prefer to get over defeats and put them behind me as soon as I can.

“I don’t believe that legally we have been allowed to have the fight we are entitled to, and we are going to fight to have that opportunity. If we get beat on that, then I suppose I might have to admit defeat. Maybe.”