Songkick wants Live Nation to be sanctioned over the late delivery of 4,000 documents related to its on-going litigation against Ticketmaster.
In court on Monday, the soon-to-be-closed company’s lawyers said that the sharing of documents between the two parties under the pre-trial ‘discovery process’ was meant to have been completed months ago but, Songkick argues, its opponent “withheld a treasure trove of documents until the eleventh hour”, hindering its own preparations for the trial that is due to start in November.
According to Law 360, Songkick stated in its motion to the court: “It would have been questionable to withhold any of these documents – much less thousands of them. This state of affairs is highly prejudicial to Songkick. [Live Nation’s] last-minute production of thousands of relevant documents leaves Songkick no choice but to seek sanctions”.
Songkick last week announced it will shut down on October 31, only days after the two Ticketmaster employees named in Songkick’s lawsuit against Live Nation – Stephen Mead and Zeeshan Zaidi – left the firm. The exact circumstances behind the pair’s departures have not been disclosed.
While Songkick requested that Live Nation should be sanctioned, its opponent asked for a large portion of the lawsuit to be dismissed forthwith.
However, the court ruled that Live Nation had not demonstrated that its rival had failed to bring sufficient evidence to the table for its allegations of anti-competitive behaviour to be proceed to trial.
Songkick said: “We are gratified that the judge has dismissed Live Nation’s request for summary judgment today, allowing all eleven of the claims we made against the company in our amended complaint in February to be addressed at the trial.”
Songkick sold its primary concert discovery mobile platform to Warner Music Group, in a deal that excluded its ticketing arm, in July.
Songkick first filed a lawsuit in 2015 when it accused Ticketmaster and Live Nation of anticompetitive acts. Papers filed said that artists who had used the ticketing platform in the past had seen their Ticketmaster featured pages abruptly removed.
However, in February, Songkick submitted new claims that staff at Ticketmaster stole trade secrets from the start-up and used them to develop its own rival service. Prior to his role as director of client relations and artist services with Ticketmaster, Mead worked for CrowdSurge, which was acquired by Songkick in 2015. The accusing firm claims that Mead retained 85,000 Crowdsurge company documents, including business plans, financial information, contracts and more to create reports about potential new business after his departure to Ticketmaster.
In addition, Songkick alleges that Mead accessed test sites created for potential new CrowdSurge clients, which were only publicly available to those that knew how the URLs were formulated.
Songkicks’s primary allegation is that Live Nation, which owns Ticketmaster, was holding its acts to ransom, primarily in the US, if they chose to collaborate with Songkick on fan club pre-sales. While Live Nation said the additional allegations were “baseless,” Songkick has submitted documents it claims show Mead accessing the Crowdsurge system.
Songkick said that all services for artists, performers, and venues will terminate on October 27. While it confirmed that all outstanding amounts for tickets already sold for future dates will be paid in full.