Beatport founder accused of anti-competitive behaviour

By | Published on Tuesday 7 December 2010

The co-founder of dance music download service Beatport has been accused of using his digital company’s influence to give his nightclub in Denver an unfair advantage over competing clubs. 

Both Beatport Chairman Bradley Roulier and the claimant in a new lawsuit, Regas Christou, runs clubs in the American city. And, according to Billboard, the former used to work for the latter, with Christou helping Roulier secure the loan used to launch Beatport. 

In his lawsuit, Christou alleges that Roulier uses the influence of Beatport, an important digital service in the dance and electronic music sector, to force acts to only play his Denver venue, Beta, when they visit the city. Roulier’s bookers, it is claimed, tell big name DJs that if they play any of Christou’s venues they and their labels will be blacklisted on Beatport. 

Alleging that names like DJ Rap, Shasha, DJ Dan and Deadmau5 had all be coerced in this way, Christou says in his lawsuit: “They’ve threatened DJs that if they play at [my venues] 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 claims that Roulier’s conduct is anti-competitive under US antitrust laws, and is suing for a million in damages. Roulier is yet to respond.