Live events sector
Live Nation has announced that it had come to a settlement agreement with Complete Entertainment Resources Group, Inc in the ‘Songkick’ saga.
The Songkick owners have accepted a settlement before the case was due in court on the 24th of this month in what had looked like a fascinating case, and a ‘warts and all’ exploration of the live giant’s business methods. The settlement headlines are that Songkick have accepted the offer of $110 million and the purchase of Songkick assets for an undisclosed sum.
Songkick, which offered both a music discovery app and a fan club ticketing platform, sued Live Nation alleging anti-competitive practices and illegal access to proprietary company information in federal court, in particular Songkick’s software programme which offered a fan base sales platform and on which Ticketmaster’s “Verified Fan” programme allegedly based. The core of the case centered around a former Crowdsurge employee who allegedly used access to the company’s system to provide confidential information to Ticketmaster’s top executives on their competitor. As details of the case began to become public, evidence submitted by Songkick’s legal team was used to support the theory that Ticketmaster took the threat posed by the Songkick/Crowdsurge model very seriously indeed,
In October, Songkick sold its music discovery platform to WMGm but that specifically excluded the Crowdsurge business, and the “pending litigation” associated with it. The lawsuit continued, alleging Ticketmaster had used its illegally-obtained knowledge of Songkick/Crowdsurge’s model to unfairly compete for artists. Other documents detailed the role of Stephen Mead, the former Crowdsurge employee who was then employed by Ticketmaster: Mead and Zeeshan Zaidi, a Senior VP in charge of Artist Services, were no longer employed by the Ticketing giant after the release of a large number of documents.
Joe Berchtold, President of Live Nation said: “We are pleased that we were able to resolve this dispute and avoid protracted and costly legal proceedings, while also acquiring valuable assets”
“We are glad to have resolved this litigation and thank all the employees, artists and industry partners who contributed so much to our many successes over the last decade,” said Matt Jones, Chief Executive Officer of CERG.