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  Feds Look At Clear Channel For Anti-Trust


08-04-03 antiGUY
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Clear Channel, the largest owner of radio stations in the U.S. is under investigation by the Justice Department for possible anti-trust violations. 
R. Hewitt Pate, assistant attorney general for antitrust, told a House subcommittee last Thursday that there is an investigation into Clear Channel. 
In his testimony, Pate stated that the department had interviewed individuals who referred to them by Rep. Howard Berman, D-CA., that have complained of coercive tactics by Clear Channel. 

Rep. Berman became involved in 2002 when he wrote to the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission about his concerns over the consolidation of entertainment and media industries and how that consolidation may be hurting artists, fans, advertisers and others.  
After his letters were sent, Berman said that he received a large number of complaints from various people in the entertainment industry. "Virtually all decried the evils of consolidation in the radio and concert industries," he said. 

AP reports: “Among the complaints were allegations that Clear Channel punished artists who didn't use the company's concert promotion arm by denying, or threatening to deny, radio airplay for their songs, he said.”

Clear Channel publicly does not seem that concerned over the current investigations by Federal authorities. They said in a statement that the Justice Department "has evaluated, on a routine basis, nearly every acquisition that Clear Channel has made and approved each one.

"When you run a big company, engaging in complex transactions, inquiries of this sort become fairly routine. We are cooperating fully with all DOJ requests and we are confident the DOJ will find, as it has in the past, that our company is managed with the highest degree of integrity."

more on Clear Channel .



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