Songkick was dealt another blow in its lawsuit against Ticketmaster after a federal judge ruled that Ticketmaster had not destroyed evidence and rejected a proposal for a forensic search of computers belonging to Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino and others at the company.
“There is no indication in the record before the court that any party — Songkick, Ticketmaster or Live Nation — failed to preserve documents regarding Songkick’s compliance with Ticketmaster fan-club policies regarding artist presales,” wrote U.S. Magistrate Judge Alicia G. Rosenberg in her rejection of Songkick’s discovery request. “To the extent Songkick argues that (the letter) triggered a duty to preserve documents regarding the antitrust claims that Songkick filed over a year later on December 22, Songkick’s argument is rejected.”
The ruling leaves Songkick with few paths forward in their 10-month-old lawsuit against Ticketmaster, which it accuses of monopolizing its own tickets and anti-competitive practices related to the way Ticketmaster allocates tickets for fan clubs. The defeat also comes after Songkick unsuccessfully sought a preliminary injunction against Ticketmaster and had part of the lawsuit dismissed at the urging of TM’s lawyers.
Songkick had been hoping to pressure Ticketmaster by demanding a forensic search of the computers of Rapino, former VP of Artist Services Greg Schmale, former CFO Cole Gahagan, President Jared Smith, Artist Relations Manager Richard Palmese and Client Development Director Carrie Phillips Trimble. After several months of discovery, Songkick alleged that Ticketmaster had destroyed evidence in the case because it had not retained emails following a cease and desist letter it sent in 2014. Rosenberg ruled that the 2014 letter “does not remotely touch on antitrust issues,” and ruled that Songkick “cannot say that a party should have reasonably foreseen litigation based on (the cease and desist) letter.”