Antitrust Advisory: Internet Music Price-Fixing Case against Record Companies Is Back Online


On January 13, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated the dismissal of an antitrust suit brought against several record companies for their alleged conspiracy to fix online record prices. Starr v. Sony BMG Music Entertainment, No. 08-5637-cv (2nd Cir., Jan. 13, 2010). Plaintiffs had alleged a conspiracy by the record companies to “restrain the availability and distribution of Internet Music, fix and maintain at artificially high and non-competitive levels the prices at which they sold Internet Music and impose unreasonably restrictive terms in the purchase and use of Internet Music.” The Second Circuit, disagreeing with the district court, held that the complaint contained “plausible grounds to infer an agreement” between Defendants as required by the Supreme Court in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007).

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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