In a development some will see as a clear victory for independent concert promoters, Nobody In Particular Presents (NIPP) has settled its lawsuit against Clear Channel Communications and several of it
In a development some will see as a clear victory for independent concert promoters, Nobody In Particular Presents (NIPP) has settled its lawsuit against Clear Channel Communications and several of its subsidiaries.
The terms of the agreement are confidential, and representatives from either company could not be immediately reached.
The news comes after a federal judge in Denver on April 2 allowed NIPP to proceed with its suit against CCC, finding that the latter had attempted to create a monopoly. A trial had been set to begin Aug. 2.
NIPP originally filed the suit in August 2001, charging that Clear Channel's "monopolistic, multimedia empire" was "severely harming NIPP's ability to compete ... resulting in higher prices and fewer offerings for consumers."
NIPP alleged that CCC-owned Denver radio stations played songs by artists whose area concerts were promoted by Clear Channel Entertainment, but did not play songs by bands that NIPP promoted.
In the April 2 ruling, Judge Edward Nottingham of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado ruled that CCC's cluster of eight radio stations in the Denver area -- the maximum allowed by FCC regulations -- was not a monopoly. However, the judge also stated he believed CCC had intended to create a monopoly position when it rejected paid advertising by NIPP.
"This was a long and difficult battle, and we are very happy with this agreement," says Doug Kauffman, founder and president of NIPP, in a statement. "We look forward to continuing to be the leading independent concert promoter in the Denver area."
Andy Levin, Clear Channel's executive VP/chief legal officer, comments in a statement, "Clear Channel admitted no wrongdoing in connection with the lawsuit, but we are pleased to get the matter behind us."
The case has been followed with much interest by the concert industry at large. "I'd love to know the terms, but this potentially indicates Clear Channel had some particular reason to settle," observes independent promoter Jon Stoll, president of Fantasma Productions. "This is great news for the independents."