Don Henley Embroiled in Anti-Trust Case

Not to air his dirty laundry, but Preston Hollow’s Don Henley has found himself among several artists embroiled in an anti-trust case that has been bouncing around the courts for years.

Last week, the law firm Latham & Watkins told a California federal judge that their client — Radio Music License Committee — that the licensing demands of Irving Azoff’s Global Music Rights LLC could cause the demise of the company’s 10,000 member radio stations, the Hollywood Reporter explained.

RMLC has been asking for documents from several artists, but most recently, it asked to depose five people — Henley, Jon Bon Jovi, OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder, Shane McAnally, , and Pharell William’s manager, Ron Laffitte.

The five, who appear to have equity shares in GMR, are accused by the group of being part of an anti-trust conspiracy.

“The group sees these five as part of a ‘hub-and-spoke conspiracy,’ arguing, ‘Testimony from alleged co-conspirators themselves is, perhaps, the most important evidence of conspiracy that can exist,'” the article said.

GMR’s attorney told the judge that the five had non-voting shares that allowed them to receive part of the proceeds if the company was ever involved in an liquidity event.

“The radio station group says it has documents in its possession that showcase ‘conversations’ between the music stars before they joined up with GMR,” the Hollywood Reporter said, adding that RMLC’s lawyers allege that the five worked to recruit other songwriters.

“If the Co-Conspirator Affiliates can take the time to build the GMR cartel for the explicit purpose of raising prices and making it ‘game over’ for radio stations, surely they can sit for a deposition to answer questions about their role,” the group’s attorneys said.

“The inability of RMLC to point to a single document presenting viable evidence of collusion from any of these five deposition targets underscores the impropriety of its deposition requests and RMLC’s shirk of its discovery obligations to not burden nonparties with discovery most appropriately sought from more convenient and logical sources,” GMR countered.

The matter will be heard in federal court in June, with discovery closing in September and pre-trial conferences slated to begin in February.

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, Digital Editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at bethany.erickson@peoplenewspapers.com.

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