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Irving Azoff. Courtesy Image.

Global Music Rights Wins Argument To Move Antitrust Suit To California

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LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) A federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has ruled in favor of Global Music Rights against the Radio Music License Committee in an antitrust suit brought by RMLC.

The ruling said that “this district is not a proper venue to adjudicate this matter,” which jibes with the argument of Global Music Rights, founded by Irving Azoff, that says the proper venue for the lawsuit is the Central District of California where Global is headquartered. Global filed its own antitrust suit in California, alleging the RMLC’s 10,000-member stations are improperly colluding to suppress payments to songwriters.

“I am thrilled with today’s victory,” Azoff said. “Now Global Music Rights gets to expose the radio cartel’s bullying tactics. It’s always worth the wait when artists win.”

The RMLC accuses Azoff and GMR of bullying major radio broadcasters into paying higher performance fees and has leveraged its catalog of hits to force higher radio rates. GMR has accused RMLC of underpaying and accused RMLC in its countersuit of bullying, labeling it an “illegal cartel.”

In 2017, U.S. Magistrate Judge Lynne Sitarski rejected every one of RMLC’s arguments for filling the antitrust suit in Pennsylvania. Neither party operates in the state or represents any party there and Sitarski’s report concluded that the RMLC filed its suit in the state for tactical advantage, according to a statement from Global.

“Global Music Rights is an innovator in music rights and a tireless defender of music creators.  We are gratified with Judge Jones’ clear ruling that RMLC’s lawsuit was improperly filed in Pennsylvania,” said Daniel Petrocelli, Global’s lead attorney. “That decision clears the path for Global Music Rights to prosecute its case in California against the RMLC for unlawful boycotting and pricing activity.”

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