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LIVE NATION PREVAILS IN COURT

The Fourth Circuit upheld Live Nation Entertainment Inc.’s legal victory over the operators of Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland who had contended Live Nation had monopolized and restrained competition in the Washington, D.C., area.

The court rejected It's My Party's assertion that Live Nation's business practices illegally bound artists to the promoter. A three-judge panel affirmed a ruling by U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz on Thursday (2/4).

Live Nation, naturally, was pleased with the decision, stating "We applaud the Fourth Circuit's ruling and appreciate the panel's judicious verdict which eradicates claims of anti-competitive conduct by asserting that the 'purpose of antitrust law is to penalize anticompetitive practices, not competitive success.'"

It's My Party had filed suit in 2009 claiming Live Nation had enticed acts to appear at venues they owned and operated over local establishments such as Meeiweather Post Pavilion.

In their decision, the circuit judges noted that IMP failed to identify the market Live Nation monopolized and ruled that any “tying” of concerts at multiple Live Nation venues did not violate the Sherman Antitrust Law.

The court put it in David vs. Goliath terms. “Just as big is not necessarily bad, small is not necessarily weak,” the judges wrote. “Even though national firms undoubtedly have an edge over smaller competitors and David may not triumph over Goliath everywhere, he can certainly hone his home court advantage.

“While LN was busily spreading its operations all over the country, IMP could have focused instead on branding itself as a uniquely attractive local outfit, striving to know the Washington-Baltimore audience better than any other promoter and deepening its relationships with local clubs, businesses, and media. As it is, IMP has in fact enjoyed much success at its Merriweather venue, hosting scores of major artists and doubling its revenue from $11.8m in 2006 to $22.5m in 2012.”

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