DOJ: 'It Is Time to Break Up Live Nation-Ticketmaster'

Feds file sweeping antitrust lawsuit
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 23, 2024 10:15 AM CDT
DOJ Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Live Nation
Ticketmaster tickets and gift cards are shown at a box office in San Jose, California, on May 11, 2009.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

The Justice Department filed a sweeping antitrust lawsuit against Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation Entertainment on Thursday, accusing them of running an illegal monopoly over live events in America—squelching competition and driving up prices for fans. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Manhattan, was being brought with 30 state and district attorneys general and seeks to break up the monopoly they say is squeezing out smaller promoters and hurting artists, reports the AP.

  • From the DOJ: "We allege that Live Nation relies on unlawful, anticompetitive conduct to exercise its monopolistic control over the live events industry in the United States at the cost of fans, artists, smaller promoters, and venue operators," AG Merrick Garland said. "The result is that fans pay more in fees, artists have fewer opportunities to play concerts, smaller promoters get squeezed out, and venues have fewer real choices for ticketing services. It is time to break up Live Nation-Ticketmaster."
  • Those alleged practices: They include using long-term contracts to keep venues from choosing rival ticketers, blocking venues from using multiple ticket sellers, and threatening venues that they could lose money and fans if they don't choose Ticketmaster.
  • Not so, says Live Nation: Live Nation has contended that Ticketmaster enjoys such a large marketshare because of "the large gap that exists between the quality of the Ticketmaster system and the next best primary ticketing system."
  • That market share: Ticketmaster, which merged with Live Nation in 2010, is the world's largest ticket seller, processing 500 million tickets each year in more than 30 countries. Around 70% of tickets for major concert venues in the US are sold through Ticketmaster. The company owns or controls more than 265 of North America's concert venues and dozens of top amphitheaters.
(More Live Nation stories.)

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