Live Nation hacked into Songkick’s computer system and stole trade secrets, the latter company claims in an amended antitrust suit filed in 2015 but updated to include information it says emerged in the discovery process. 

Photo

Songkick

The ticketing startup filed the amended complaint containing the accusation in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles Feb. 15, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The complaint alleges Ticketmaster hacked Songkick’s computers with the help of Stephen Mead, director of Ticketmaster’s artist-services unit and a former Songkick exec, the paper reports.

The unit was allegedly “revamped” using information from Songkick’s computers.

The claim, if proven, could be a criminal violation.

A Live Nation statement calls the complaint “baseless” and says it “failed to show virtually any likelihood of success on the merits.”

A Songkick request for a preliminary injunction was denied last year, and a judge instead agreed to dismiss some of its antitrust claims against Live Nation.

“In the face of those adverse rulings, Songkick has been forced to conjure up a new set of dubious arguments and theories,” the statement said. “…Songkick’s amended complaint is based on the alleged misappropriation of information that Songkick did not even try to keep secret, in some cases could not have kept secret, and in some cases shared with artist managers that work for Live Nation.

“The claims have no legal merit and Live Nation and Ticketmaster will continue to vigorous defend this case,” the statement concludes.

The antitrust suit focuses on the number of concert tickets that promoters provide to artists to sell directly to fan clubs.

That figure is generally about 10 percent in the U.S. though it can be much larger internationally.

Artists, most notably Adele, are able then to sell the tickets directly to fans and theoretically avoid scalping. Adele’s 2016 tour reportedly sold about 500,000 tickets using Songkick. 

Despite the bad news, Live Nation stock closed at a record high at $29.29 after climbing to $29.42 midday. in June 2015 it closed at $29.22.