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Complete Entertainment Resources LLC v. Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., et al.

Two weeks before trial was scheduled to begin, Songkick settled its antitrust suit against Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation in Complete Entertainment Resources LLC v. Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., et al. Bates White provided expert support, helping Songkick reach a settlement of $110 million, plus an undisclosed sum for Live Nation to acquire some of Songkick’s technology assets and patents.

Songkick’s suit against Live Nation and Ticketmaster was originally filed in 2015. Songkick specialized in presales of concert tickets—selling batches of advance tickets to consumers, often as part of a fan club or other artist-led sale. It contended that Live Nation and Ticketmaster were blocking its access to presale tickets and making it increasingly difficult to contract with artists to provide them with presale services. Ticketmaster contracts with event venues to provide ticketing services. Songkick claimed that Ticketmaster used its exclusive contracts with venues and its market power in venue ticketing to hamper rivals’ provision of artist presale ticketing services.

On behalf of Songkick, Bates White Partner Joseph Farrell submitted two expert reports to evaluate the effects of Ticketmaster’s conduct on competition and consumers, drawing on a combination of economic theory and empirical analysis of the market.

In October, the judge denied Live Nation’s motion for summary judgment, citing Dr. Farrell’s expert testimony showing “that the Ticketmaster/venue exclusive contracts . . . may harm competition. . . . The negative effects of the relationship are pushed off onto artists and the ultimate consumers, i.e., the audience for the events.” The settlement brings to an end more than two years of antitrust litigation.

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