LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — In the latest twist in their long-simmering antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation and their Ticketmaster subsidiary, indie ticketing company Songkick is now alleging that they are victims of hacking and data theft.
According to Billboard, Songkick has amended legal filings to allege that a former CrowdSurge executive and current Ticketmaster employee, Stephen Mead, illicitly gained access to Crowdsurge's computers to obtain trade secrets and confidential information that he then provided to Ticketmaster.
Songkick assets that Mead took as many as 85,000 documents with him when he exited Crowdsurge in 2012, including "a suite of proprietary service offerings; financial information, such as ticket sales, merchandise revenues, quarterly profitability, and forecasts of various kinds; cost and pricing data; customer information; and other non-public information of economic value" according to the complaint obtained by Billboard.
Songkick further alleges that the information Mead obtained was then presented to the Live Nation hierarchy, including Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino and Ticketmaster president of North America Jared Smith, Billboard reported. Songkick claims to have learned via the discovery process in the lawsuit that the alleged digital intrusions continued until 2015 and they allege the existence of emails containing login information, as well as discussions about the continued intrusion and taking screenshots of confidential information.
Songkick acquired Crowdsurge in June, 2015.
In responding to Billboard about the SongKick's latest round of allegations, a representative for Live Nation said:
"In late 2015, Songkick elected to file a baseless antitrust lawsuit against Ticketmaster," the statement reads. "Since then, the case has gone poorly for Songkick. It sought a preliminary injunction and lost, with the Court concluding that Songkick’s complaint 'failed to show virtually any likelihood of success on the merits.' And the Court granted in full Defendants’ motion to dismiss a significant swath of Songkick’s antitrust claims concluding that 'there is no plausible argument' supporting the baseless position Songkick adopted.
"In the face of those adverse rulings, Songkick has been forced to conjure up a new set of dubious arguments and theories, resulting in the amended complaint they recently filed. Songkick’s amended complaint is based on the alleged misappropriation of information that Songkick did not even try to keep secret, in some cases could not have kept secret, and in some cases shared with artist managers that work for Live Nation. The claims have no legal merit and Live Nation and Ticketmaster will continue to vigorously defend this case."