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Topic: Clear Channel Sued Return to archive
06-16-02 10:14 AM
mattb Posted on Fri, Jun. 14, 2002

Clear Channel Sued; Price Gouging Alleged

NEW YORK - (Reuters) - A Chicago-area woman on Friday sued Clear Channel Communications (CCU.N) for allegedly gouging music concert ticket buyers with inflated prices as the multimedia entertainment company built a monopolistic empire.

The antitrust lawsuit seeks class-action status on behalf of individuals who bought tickets to any live rock concert in the United States from Clear Channel and its affiliates and subsidiaries from Jan. 1, 1997 through the present. The suit, which was filed in Manhattan federal court, seeks unspecified damages.

"Through a series of recent mergers valued at nearly $20 billion, and through other anticompetitive and predatory practices ... Clear Channel has built a monopolistic, multimedia empire that is severely harming and decreasing overall competition," the suit alleged.

Howard Schacter, a spokesman for Clear Channel Entertainment, said the company does not comment on the specifics of litigation.

However, he said that ticket prices are set by a number of contributing factors including the fees that an artist charges a promoter to play a show or tour. He said that artists' fees have increased sharply over recent years because of skyrocketing production costs for such things as travel and state-of-the-art sound and lighting.

"In actuality it is to the promoter's benefit to have as many fans at a show as possible. Most of our income is derived from ancillary activities like parking, food and beverage, so it's very important to us that tickets are priced reasonably," he said.

The plaintiff Melinda Heerwagen, of Cook County, Illinois, alleged that the sharp increases in ticket prices are unrelated to inflation. The suit states that from 1991 to 1996, concert ticket prices rose by 21 percent while the Consumer Price Index shows that all prices grew by 15 percent.

"Yet, in the last five years, during the time when Clear Channel's consolidation of the industry and anticompetitive practices were implemented, concert ticket prices ballooned by 61 percent while the Consumer Price Index increased by just 13 percent," the suit said.

06-16-02 10:55 AM
Sir Stonesalot Cool!

When this thing is finally settled in about 12-15 years, we all might get a $10.00 discount coupon good on any ticket over $100.00!

Remember Airline Scrip? Remember those GM coupons?

Basically, the courts find for the plantiff, and then award the defendant a promotion gimmick.

I used to be a travel agent. When the airlines got nailed for price fixing, they were required to send out the price of the most expensive ticket that each passenger bought over the time period of the lawsuit. Except that it wasn't cash, it was "scrip". And you couldn't use it all at once. You could use $25.00 of it on a ticket up to $500.00, $50.00 on a ticket up to $1000.00, etc., yadda yadda yadda. I can't tell you the number of people who thought that they had a free ticket coming, only to find out that they could only use a very small amount of their coupons.

I'll bet ya that even if this suit is successful, Clear Channel will still come out of this smellin' like a rose. Yeah, I can just imagine getting my big coupon booklet in the mail now! Whoopee! Get a $5.00 rebate on every $50.00 you spend! But if you don't get zilch.

Fucking typical.
06-16-02 12:08 PM
nankerphelge Right you are -- IF the class gets recognized by the Court, and IF the plaintiffs are successful in proving that the prices are the result of gouging (notice they won't talk about litigation, BUT... there are a whole lot of things like the big production costs that make the tickets expensive, not us nice ticket folks who'd just as soon give the tickets away but we can't), and IF damages can be assessed

THEN, the lawyers will take their cut and Joe Ticketbuyer will get a coupon good for a free water at the next N'Stink show.

06-16-02 08:06 PM

Clear Channel Sued; Price Gouging Alleged

"In actuality it is to the promoter's benefit to have as many fans at a show as possible. Most of our income is derived from ancillary activities like parking, food and beverage, so it's very important to us that tickets are priced reasonably," he said.

Yeah, let's talk about these parking and beverage prices on stadium territory! Not exactly 'almost free' either, huh? If only we had a fair system...
06-16-02 09:59 PM
Happy Motherfucker!! Clear Channel is fixing to find their ass on the receiving end of another law suite pretty soon if this "Dead Reunion" show is cancelled. After all the bullshit surrounding The Stones Tour, now it is known that the Reunion shows maybe cancelled because Clear Channel failed to get the proper permits to put the shows on. All of this after tickets have been sold, not counting all of the people that has already booked flights ect. It seems to me that they want to get the money in their hands, and ask questions later.
06-16-02 10:45 PM
bluesgirl hi there in US
I found this link at the good old fan club in Scandinavia, who even have been in contact with the people behind the Stones - and they are shocked about what they heard.

Use this link recommended by Blue Lena:

Good luck

shame denmark lost the football together with sweden, but hope you other guys will do a hell of a game.

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