In a new court filing that brings two mega-agencies into a legal complaint, the agencies UTA and ICM Partners are accused of forming a “cartel” that also involves the mega-agencies William Morris Endeavor and Creative Artists, Dominic Patten reports on Deadline.com.
The allegation is part of a complaint filed Friday in federal court on behalf of the boutique agency Lenhoff & Lenhoff. The amended complaint, filed two weeks after the agency’s antitrust and anti-packaging lawsuit against UTA and ICM was thrown out of court, brings the two mega-agencies into the case although they are not named as defendants, Patten notes.
His report quotes the new case summary in the complaint, filed by an attorney for Lenhoff & Lenhoff, saying: “Plaintiff alleges that Defendants UTA and ICM, together with two other ‘Uber’ talent agencies, William Morris Endeavor (‘WME’) and Creative Artists Agency (‘CAA’), have engaged in a conspiracy to restrain trade and to create an oligopoly in order to control the scripted television (‘TV’) relevant market, including the scripted TV packaging submarket.”
The summary also states: “Plaintiff alleges that Defendants UTA and ICM have agreed and conspired with WME and CAA to form a ‘cartel’ or oligopoly.”
Patten notes that a key distinction between the earlier filing and the amended complaint is that the word “monopoly” has been replaced with “oligopoly.” This change “could convince Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell that the facts of the case warrant moving forward,” Patten adds.