PMA successfully defends Banco Popular de Puerto Rico in antitrust case

Ticket Center Inc. v. Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, Case Num. 04-cv-20621.

On October 31, 2008, the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico granted Banco Popular\’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed a $45 million Complaint for Ticket Center’s failure to provide any admissible evidence to prove that Banco Popular engaged in any anti-competitive activity in violation of the Bank Holding Company Act or the Sherman Act.

The Complaint, which was filed in 2004 by Ticket Center, a local ticketing processing company, claimed, among other things, that in an effort to monopolize and restrict competition in the ticketing processing market, Banco Popular used its market power in the finance, electronic transaction and sponsorship market to force event promoters and entertainment venue owners to use an allegedly inferior and new ticket processing service provided by Banco Popular, which is known today as TicketPop. However, the court concluded that this allegation was not supported by any evidence. Several promoters and businessmen who had been identified by Ticket Center as being victims of these alleged tying arrangements testified that they had entered into agreements with Banco Popular freely and without any coercion. Therefore, the Court held that “the undisputed facts and evidence on this motion demonstrate that, for each of the business arrangements alleged in the complaint, Banco Popular did not tie its provision of financial services or sponsorship services to the use of TicketPop ticketing services.” Moreover, the Court ruled that Ticket Center also lacked any admissible evidence to support the rest of the allegations included in the Complaint’s monopolization claim under Section 2 of the Sherman Act. Because the Court found that summary judgment should be granted for Banco Popular on all of Ticket Center\’s federal claims, it declined to exercise its jurisdiction over some of the state law claims alleging violations of Puerto Rico\’s antitrust and tort laws.