UTA Wins Dismissal of Anti-Packaging Suit

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April 2016

On April 20, 2016, Irell & Manella LLP secured a dismissal of an antitrust and business tort lawsuit brought against its client United Talent Agency and another large talent agency, International Creative Management Partners, by boutique talent agency, Lenhoff Enterprises. The crux of the complaint, which was on its third amended filing, was that the “packaging deals” employed by the largest talent agencies violate the provisions of the Sherman Antitrust Act and that UTA has conspired with the other large agencies to exclude smaller agencies from co-packaging arrangements. The case represented a challenge to an increasingly important business practice of the large agencies: “packaging fees” that are paid by studios and television networks, as opposed to the traditional manner of representing talent in the entertainment business for a percentage fee paid by talent.

The Irell team was led by Steve Marenberg and assisted by Freedman + Teitelman LLP.