Denver concert promoter Nobody In Particular Presents filed a lawsuit against Clear Channel Entertainment and five local radio stations owned by Clear Channel Aug. 6 in U.S. District Court in Denver alleging antitrust violations, and is seeking unspecified damages that would be determined in a jury trial, reports the Denver Post.
According to the 32-page suit, Clear Channel muscled artists into turning over promotion of their concerts rather than risk losing airplay and promotional support. This includes artists who already had business relationships with NIPP.
In its suit, NIPP claims that Clear Channel has used "monopolistic, predatory and anti-competitive practices to prevent NIPP and others form offering concert promotion services" in Denver.
Among its allegations against Clear Channel are: it limited advertising time available to Nobody In Particular Presents on the radio stations it owns and charged them inflated advertising rates; radio station KTCL reneged on a deal to promote a tour with on-air ticket giveaways to listeners, but gave the tickets to radio employees; Clear Channel's recent partnership with Kroenke Sports Entertainment prevents NIPP from promoting shows at Pepsi Center at a reasonable rental rate; and "in some cases, Clear Channel has guaranteed artists more than 100 percent of gross sales to promote their concerts, leaving other promoters no choice, but to either pass on such concerts, or promote them at a guaranteed loss," the suit stated.
Barry Fey, who heads up House of Blues' Denver operations, said he supports NIPP's legal action, and told the Denver Post, "If (the suit's allegations) are true, and I have no reason to believe they aren't, then it's really reprehensible."
NIPP co-owner Doug Kauffman, said in a statement, "Any concert promotion company that was not bought up in the SFX/Clear Channel buying spree is now squarely in the cross hairs and marked for extinction.
"We've had more than a taste of how Clear Channel's predatory business practices have affected our company and our lives," he continued. "Our only recourse is to fight them tooth and nail and hope that the legal system will give us some relief."