The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Live Nation Settles Suit With Ticketing Start-Up, Buying Its Assets. Two years ago, Songkick, a ticketing start-up that operated out of a loft in Brooklyn, filed an antitrust suit against Live Nation Entertainment, the colossus of the concert business. The David-and-Goliath suit included accusations of abuse of market power by Live Nation and its Ticketmaster subsidiary. But on Friday, less than two weeks before the start of a trial, Live Nation announced that it had settled the suit for $110 million and an additional undisclosed sum to acquire some of Songkick’s remaining technology assets and patents.
Department of Justice Probes Admissions Ethics Code. The U.S. Department of Justice has launched an investigation into whether the ethics code of the National Association for College Admission Counseling violates federal antitrust law. The department has sent information requests to NACAC and to professionals from various schools and colleges who were involved in drafting the new version of the ethics code, which was adopted last year. The letter from the department, a copy of which has been obtained by Inside Higher Ed, states that the investigation pertains to a possible agreement “to restrain trade among colleges and universities in the recruitment of students.”
Jaguar Land Rover Escapes Antitrust Suit Over Ban on Overseas Resale. A federal judge has dismissed an antitrust suit challenging Jaguar Land Rover’s ban on overseas resale of vehicles it sells to U.S. customers. The suit was brought on behalf of U.S. owners of Jaguars and Land Rovers, and asserts that they could resell their vehicles in China or Russia for three or four times their cost here if not for a no-export policy the company imposes on new car buyers. The suit asserts that the vehicles’ manufacturer requires its U.S. dealers to enforce the policy, and dealers that fail to do so are given a reduced allocation of vehicles. But the complaint fails because the plaintiff did not establish a concerted action by the defendants that produced anti-competitive effects within the relevant product and geographic markets, U.S. District Judge William Martini of the District of New Jersey ruled, dismissing the suit with prejudice.