Radio lawsuit goes to trial

Clear Channel skedded for four-week jury trial

DENVER — A federal antitrust lawsuit accusing radio giant Clear Channel Communications of monopolistic and predatory practices is set to go to trial Aug. 2 in Denver.

U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham last week scheduled a four-week jury trial after ruling that an independent Denver concert producer known as Nobody In Particular Presents had enough evidence to proceed.

NIPP says that Clear Channel, whose subsidiaries make it the largest radio station owner and concert promoter in the nation, has denied airplay time on its Denver radio stations for acts that hire NIPP and won’t let NIPP publicize its concerts on the air.

NIPP provided Nottingham with internal e-mails in which Clear Channel radio managers banned advertising and promotion of rival and “uncooperative” concert promoters.

Nottingham has thrown out several claims against Clear Channel, including NIPP’s allegation that the Texas-based conglomerate’s stronghold in Denver’s radio and rock concert market constitutes an illegal monopoly.

Clear Channel, which controls more than 100 music concert venues nationwide, owns only eight of the 50 radio stations in Denver. Four of those are popular rock music stations that NIPP contends account for nearly 90% of the area’s rock station advertising revenues.

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