SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Oct. 17 2004 LAWFUEL – Lawsuit, law, legal, attorney, law firm news Popular, Inc., the 31st
largest bank holding company in the U.S, and Banco Popular, Puerto Rico’s
largest banking institution, were recently sued in The United States District
Court for the District of Puerto Rico for multiple banking and antitrust
violations against vendors in the entertainment ticketing industry,
particularly against Ticket Center.
Ticket Center, Inc., Puerto Rico’s leading ticketing service company, asks
the court to enjoin defendants Popular, Inc. and/or Banco Popular from further
engaging in antitrust violations and redress damages (trebled) for the amount
of $45 million suffered by the plaintiff as a result of the defendants’
unlawful conditioning of highly sought banking products, using the bank’s
overwhelming market power to force upon customers exclusive use of additional
less-desired products and/or services, also available from other ticket
vendors within a competitive market, to the detriment of competitors, such as
the plaintiff. Ticket Center also seeks to prevent further unlawful
monopolization attempts by defendants within the ticketing market in Puerto
The lawsuit also asks the court to issue an order for the bank to divest
from a recently awarded exclusive contract to operate the box office and
retail ticket outlets of Puerto Rico’s new premier arena, Jose Miguel Agrelot
Coliseum (JMA Coliseum), inasmuch as this activity constitutes an unauthorized
non-banking business activity conducted by Popular’s ticketing department
and/or service division, known as TicketPop. The exercise of such unauthorized
non-banking business activity has also been alleged to be part of the
attempted monopolization scheme.
Ticket Center had independently challenged Popular’s exclusive ticketing
award at JMA Coliseum, which is currently subject of review by the Circuit
Court of Appeals of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Among the “highly
questionable” situations surrounding said award, Ticket Center alleges
Popular’s lack of legal capacity and/or authorization to conduct the non-
banking services required by the request for proposal, as well as Popular’s
noncompliance with important factual requirements of the bid. Ticket Center’s
lawsuit also states that Popular, Inc. and/or Banco Popular play a dual role
at JMA Coliseum, not only exclusively managing and operating the ticketing
operation, but affording major sponsorship and advertisement funds as the
displayed signs and publicity inside the 18,500-seat capacity venue suggest.
Ticket Center claims Popular, Inc. and/or Banco Popular created and
developed the TicketPop operation without the necessary government (state,
federal and/or regulatory) permits and/or authorizations, working outside the
legal scope of non-banking activities allowed to a bank and/or bank holding
company. It also claims bank holding companies and/or U.S. banks are not
allowed by law to operate a commercial ticketing service. Popular has been
unable to produce any written authorization from the bank’s regulators to
operate TicketPop. By doing so, it is alleged that Popular Inc. violates
Federal Reserve Board rules and the Bank Holding Company Act.
The lawsuit also alleges that Popular received confidential and vital
information from Ticket Center as a client and during the 1995 — 2002
negotiations to set up an alliance to expand Ticket Center’s network to
dispense tickets through Popular’s ATM Network.
Ticket Center alleges that Popular’s “illegal” actions, such as:
antitrust, Sherman and Clayton Act violations, Bank Holding Company Act
violations, tie-in arrangements, predatory pricing, exclusive dealings,
controlling ticket inventory of major events and forcing customers to buy such
tickets exclusively at TicketPop, have caused Ticket Center to lose business.
It claims Popular’s actions forced such ticketing companies as Casatron,
Ticket Box, Ticket Print and Info-Line out of the market.
For information and/or copy of the Antitrust Complaint, visit:
Ticket Center, Inc.
Ticket Print, Inc.
Popular, Inc. (Nasdaq: BPOP)
Headquartered in San Juan, Popular is the 31st largest bank holding
company in the U.S., and Puerto Rico’s largest financial institution, with
$36.4 billion in assets at December 31, 2003. In January 2003, the company
announced that, under a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with U.S. authorities
(U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Reserve System, and the Financial
Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of Treasury — FinCEN)
related to a money laundering investigation, it would forfeit $21.6 million to