COMPETITION / COPYRIGHT
Live Event Industry, record labels
Clear Channel (Live Nation) has been accused of violating anti-trust laws by impinging on concert competition and pushing up ticket prices in the USA. The class action in Denver comes three months after the US Justice Department probe into similar accusations saw no action being taken against Clear Channel. In a separate action the major labels are being sued by a group of consumers in the US for allegedly fixing the price of digital downloads. According to the suit, the major labels, having failed to delay the online market with their own (failed) joint ventures, are now conspiring to keep the wholesale price of individual tracks at $0.70. It is also claimed that, as a result of this activity, the digital music retailers have squeezed the wholesale price offered to independent labels. The labels are alleged to have inserted anti-competitive clauses into their contracts with online music providers, forcing the providers to pay all the labels the same amount for their songs.