May 23, 2024 3 min read

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DOJ to Sue Live Nation Over Antitrust Violations

The company controls approximately 70% of the ticketing market for live events, with this figure reportedly even higher in Las Vegas

Several US states and the United States Justice Department (DOJ) are getting ready to sue Live Nation Entertainment Inc., which is the parent company of Ticketmaster, for violating antitrust laws. The lawsuit is expected to be filed on May 23 in the Southern District of New York

Live Nation Leads US Ticketing Market, Holds Strongest Presence in Las Vegas

The legal action is a result of concerns having been raised about Live Nation’s alleged control over the concert ticketing industry and its possible breaches of antitrust statutes, reported Bloomberg.

The lawsuit may go so far as to force Live Nation to split up following complaints that it has had an overwhelming market position since merging with Ticketmaster in 2010. According to estimations, the company holds about 70% of all ticketing for live events with this percentage allegedly being even higher in Las Vegas. The 2010 merger was allowed during President Obama’s tenure with Live Nation banned from penalizing venues that opted for alternative ticketing platforms. 

However, subsequent administrations have questioned this deal. Despite a revised settlement under President Trump’s administration in 2019, which included outside oversight of their compliance efforts, accusations related to unfair trade practices continue.

After ticket sales for Taylor Swift’s “The Eras” tour were mishandled by Live Nation in 2022, The Biden administration began a new probe into the company. Ticketmaster’s website crashed during the presale period preventing millions from buying tickets. Not only did this frustrate Swift’s fans but it also uncovered wider problems within the ticketing business prompting an in-depth investigation by DOJ.

Fans, Lawmakers, and Musicians Unite Against Live Nation’s Ticketing Practices

Criticism of Live Nation’s expansive control in the live entertainment industry has been raised by different parties such as fans, legislators, and musicians themselves. As the firm holds sway over a large percentage of ticket sales and venues for live events throughout America, this causes worries about high charges as well as tight ticketing measures. 

A class action lawsuit led by fans accused Ticketmaster of fraud, price fixing and violation of antitrust laws after their failed attempt to sell Taylor Swift’s tickets. 

Besides other cases involving big tech companies like Google, Amazon and Apple, the impending litigation forms part of an overall effort by the Biden administration to enforce antitrust regulations more vigorously. What has been common in all these instances is that it seeks to break up monopolies while at the same time fostering fair competition within different sectors of the US economy.

If Live Nation is indeed split, it would represent a major shake-up in the live entertainment business.

Author

Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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