Los Angeles Business Journal

Judge Tosses Antitrust Suits Against Live Nation

By Deborah Crowe Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles has granted summary judgment in two decade-old antitrust lawsuits against Live Nation Entertainment Inc., effectively dismissing the class action cases.

The lawsuits against the Beverly Hills concert promoter and ticketing service date from when the now-public company was the live entertainment division of Clear Channel Communications. Plaintiffs in the 22 cases, which were eventually consolidated into five class actions, alleged that Clear Channel's promotion policies were monopolistic and anticompetitive.

The suits dismissed on Tuesday pertain to the Los Angeles and Denver markets, but Chief Executive Michael Rapino said he expects remaining litigation in Chicago, New Jersey/New York and Boston also will be dismissed.

"We are extremely pleased with the judge's ruling in these cases, which validates our long-standing belief that they are without merit," said Rapino in a statement. "We've spent a considerable amount of time and money to prove that we're right in this litigation. We refused to be held hostage by frivolous class action lawsuits, and now we've been vindicated.”

Shares were down 24 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $9.56 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.