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CLASS ACTION a south carolina lawyer has filed a proposed class action against the country band the Dixie Chicks, Sony Music Entertainment Inc., Ticketmaster, Yahoo! and the Dixie Chicks Official Artists Club, alleging fraud, civil conspiracy and unfair and deceptive acts and practices. Plaintiff James A. Merritt Jr. of Columbia says that he paid $30 to join the Dixie Chicks online fan club to take advantage of the advertised benefit of “first access to the best seats” when tickets went on sale for Dixie Chicks concerts. He says that when he tried to take advantage of the presale for a Greenville, S.C., concert, the only tickets offered were for “very poor seats found either in the upper sections of the venue or at oblique angles to the stage.” He argues these tickets were not for the “best seats,” but actually were worse than the seats that could be purchased once tickets went on sale to the general public and says furthermore that the plan was “intentionally perpetrated by the defendants individually and in combination with one another as part of a conspiracy to defraud the public.” Merritt seeks to represent all members induced to join the club by the “first access to the best seats” offer. Merritt v. Sony Music Entertainment Inc., No. 03-CV-873 (D.S.C. March 19). FOR PLAINTIFFS: James A. Merritt Jr. and Kelli L. Sullivan, Berry, Quackenbush & Stuart, Columbia, S.C.

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