I.M.P. loses long-fought antitrust suit against Live Nation

Concert promotion is a cut-throat business, and local promoters like It's My Party (IMP) and It's My Ampitheater (IMA), which promote shows for and operate Merriweather Post Pavilion, respectively, may find it tough to compete with the world-wide reach of a behemoth like Live Nation. But that doesn't make Live Nation an illegal monopoly, according to U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz.

"Quite simply," Motz wrote in an opinion issued yesterday that brings to a close the antitrust lawsuit IMP/IMA filed against Live Nation in 2009, the "plaintiffs in this case have failed to produce or cite evidence that Live Nation's conduct violates the antitrust laws."

Citing case law establishing that anti-trust laws "were enacted for the protection of competition, not competitors," Motz acknowledged that "Live Nation is undisputedly large, and utilizes its size and global reach to sign artists to exclusive contracts and steer them to perform in venues that it owns." But he ruled that IMP/IMA's lawsuit seeks only "the profits they would have realized had competition been reduced," and "this is an injury the antitrust laws do not redress."

According to a recent profile of I.M.P. head Seth Hurwitz in Washingtonian, the promoter also books shows at the Lincoln Theatre, arena shows at the Verizon Center and Fairfax's Patriot Center, and events like the Preakness Stakes' InfieldFest. In recent years, Hurwitz has also brought shows to Rams Head Live.

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