In re Digital Music Antitrust Litig., 2017 US Dist LEXIS 111403 [SDNY July 18, 2017, No. 06-md-1780 (LAP)].
Judge Preska refused to certify as a class action a case alleging price fixing in the digital music industry. Several individual plaintiffs sought to represent a nationwide class of Digital Music purchasers against defendants Sony BMG Music Entertainment, UMG Recordings, Inc., Warner Music Group Capitol Records, Inc., Capitol-EMI Music, Inc., EMI Group North America, Inc., and Virgin Records America, Inc. The Court found that the Plaintiffs failed to satisfy the typicality requirement and that widespread pirating would raise “unclean hand” defenses that could not be determined on a class-wide basis.
The decision arises out of an ongoing litigation where defendants allegedly control eighty percent of the market for Digital Music in the United States through production, licensing, and distribution of music online and on CDs. The plaintiffs allege that defendants have conspired to restrain trade in and fix prices of Digital Music in order to sell CDs at supra-competitive prices.