Music promoters’ spat spotlights unfair competition allegations

We note the broad universe of unfair trade practice on our website at the proven Connecticut business law firm of Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP. Our deep attorney team has collectively practiced extensively in that realm for many decades, representing diverse business and consumer clients in federal and state courts across the country.

We spotlight the exceptionally wide terrain marking antitrust and unfair competition issues on our site. It ranges from price fixing, monopolization and so-called “tying” agreements between companies to false advertising, business defamation and covenants not to compete

The latter concern is what dominates litigation recently filed by a plaintiff in a California federal court. We pass along the details because of the matter’s broad applicability to restraint-of-trade issues and how courts across the country grapple with them.

The spotlighted lawsuit features a music production company’s assertion that it is being unlawfully denied a fair business opportunity to contract with artists because of limiting contractual language employed by a commercial rival.

That competitor is a large musical festival organization that inserts a standard rider into artist contracts that precludes the latter from performing at other festivals. That contractual provision is asserted to be unlawful owing to overreach; it bars entertainers from signing deals to play at other similar venues within five months of the festival’s annual occurrence and within 1,300 miles of its locale.

The defendant is unapologetic and vows to “vigorously defend” its preclusionary rider. The plaintiff asserts that its contractual bar chills artists who would like to play elsewhere, unlawfully deprives rivals from competing in a fair marketplace and also harms the public by limiting consumer choice.

We will follow the case and duly report its judicial conclusion for our readers in Connecticut and elsewhere.