John Timmons criticized price policies.

BMG Direct, parent of the BMG Music Service record club, has filed a lawsuit against John Timmons, the owner of Louisville, Ky., independent music store Ear X-tacy. Timmons has publicly criticized BMG Direct's online store, which sells frontline CDs for $5.99 with free shipping.

The suit was filed April 13 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York but was not available to the public at deadline.

According to sources, the BMG Direct complaint contends that Timmons violated the site's terms and conditions by re-selling CDs bought through the record club.

In an e-mail widely circulated to the industry, Timmons decried's selling terms, pointing out that the low prices leave retailers and wholesalers unable to compete.

Timmons was unavailable for comment. However, an attorney for Timmons, Kyle Citrynell of Seiller Handmaker in Louisville, confirmed that he has received notification of the lawsuit and says, "We are considering his options."

A BMG Direct spokesperson says, "The complaint speaks for itself. We are committed to protecting the integrity of our licenses and our business."

BMG Direct is a part of Bertelsmann and was not included in the Sony BMG merger.