Wed Mar 11, 2009 @ 03:46PM PST
By Eriq Gardner
In 2005, Clear Channel Communications faced a rash of lawsuits
and federal regulatory action
over antitrust behavior associated with its dominant market position in the concert promotion business.
The solution was Live Nation, which has itself become a mega-power since being spun-off from Clear Channel.
You can run from the suits, but you can't hide. Music promotion has always been fraught with scandal, from payola to countless antitrust cases.
Now Live Nation is being sued in federal court
by a couple of Maryland-based music promoters, It's My Party, Inc. and It's My Amphitheatre, Inc.
The plaintiffs claim that Live Nation "has wielded (its) power to entice and coerce artists to appear only at amphitheaters and other venues it owns, operates, or at which it controls booking."
The Maryland music promoters allege that Live Nation continues to have strong ties with Clear Channel, saying that Clear Channel uses its 1,2000 radio stations to advertise only Live Nation-promoted concerts.
We haven't seen much news on the Clear Channel regulatory front lately, although Live Nation's proposed merger with Ticketmaster is under scrutiny from the U.S. Senate Judiciary's antitrust committee . This might not effect that deal, but it's a development that bears some watching anyway.