Beatport Accused of Anti-Competitive Practices in $1 Million Lawsuit
Published Dec 07, 2010Beatport is one of the leading digital retailers out there, specializing in various electronic sub-genres and high-quality MP3s ideal for DJs to use in their sets. However, company co-founder and chairman Bradley Roulier is now facing some serious anti-competitive allegations from a Denver club owner.
Roulier is also the owner of a Denver-based nightclub called Beta. One of his rivals, Regas Christou, who owns such clubs as the Church and Vinyl, is accusing Roulier of threatening big-ticket acts if they play at Beta's competitors instead of at the Roulier-owned club.
Speaking with Billboard, Christou explained, "They've threatened DJs that if they play at the Church or Vinyl they will pull their songs off Beatport -- even that they will pull a DJ's entire label off Beatport... and DJs have no choice but to go along because it's their financial life at stake."
Christou alleges that Deadmau5, Shasha, DJ Dan and DJ Rap are among those who were allegedly "coerced" into playing the Beta nightclub. He is seeking $1 million in damages.
"Mr. Christou has substantial evidence towards the allegations," Resident Advisor quotes Christou's lawyer Jeffrey S. Vail as saying. "These actions have been harming not only Mr. Christou but others in the community, and we're confident they will come forward during this process."
On the contrary, Billboard points to an article in the Denver-based 5280 Magazine in which Christou is painted as a somewhat paranoid individual as he describes a "concentrated effort" to ruin him from the Denver city, police and press.
As of press time, Beatport has not made a statement. However, its lawyer Joe L. Silver said, "I think that Mr. Christou is really mistaking Beta's popularity among the artists and the public as being unfair competition. That's what this suit may well be about."