SCI Ticketing, a company owned by jam band the String Cheese
Incident, filed a lawsuit against Ticketmaster in a federal court
in Denver on August 6th. The band’s ticketing service, based in
Boulder, Colorado, charges the nation’s largest concert ticket
retailer with monopolizing the industry and preventing SCI
Ticketing from offering direct ticket sales to fans.
According to the band’s complaint, Ticketmaster issued a letter
in May 2002 ordering concert promoters and venues to halt the
long-running practice of issuing blocks of concert tickets for
artists to sell directly to fans. “SCI has become the target of an
all-out effort by Ticketmaster to foreclose it from competing in
the relevant market,” reads a complaint in the suit.
“Ticketmaster’s monopolization of the relevant market and its abuse
of that monopoly power are causing damage to SCI Ticketing and may
lead to its demise.”
The String Cheese Incident aren’t the first band to try and take
on the industry behemoth. At the height of their popularity in the
mid-Nineties, Pearl Jam attempted to challenge Ticketmaster’s
concert dominance, crying foul at the service charges the company
levied on concert tix. PJ bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone
Gossard appeared before a Congressional subcommittee investigating
the matter in 1994, but lobbyists had a law regulating service fees
killed and a Justice Department investigation into possible
anti-trust violations quietly came and went with no change.
The band, along with a representative for its booking agency and
its attorney plan to address the issue at a New York City press
conference on Monday.
Ticketmaster had no comment at press time.