Home Live For Live Music Report: Justice Department Close To Filing Antitrust Suit Against Ticketmaster Parent Company...

Report: Justice Department Close To Filing Antitrust Suit Against Ticketmaster Parent Company Live Nation

14
report justice department close to filing antitrust suit against ticketmaster parent company live nation

The U.S. Department of Justice will file a federal antitrust lawsuit against Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation as early as next month, a new report in The Wall Street Journal states. Per the Journal‘s sources, the suit will allege that the largest live entertainment company in the U.S. abused its power to raise prices on concert and event tickets.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal report says that DOJ’s case would allege that Live Nation used its position of market dominance to undermine the competition in violation of antitrust laws. If successful, this case could potentially lead to the breakup of Live Nation Entertainment, the conglomerate formed via the highly controversial 2010 merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster, which created.

This latest development follows a previous report from last summer stating that DOJ was closing in on an antitrust suit. Public scrutiny of Live Nation and its business practices has existed for years, but made national headlines back in 2022 during the rollout of tickets for Taylor Swift‘s The Eras Tour. The disastrous pre-sale left an untold number of fans angry, ticketless, and searching for answers. Politicians responded by convening a joint hearing on ticketing practices for live events, but that amounted to little more than saber rattling as—two years later—there has been minimal meaningful legislation enacted. Reports from 2023 state that the Taylor Swift ticket fiasco is not a part of DOJ’s investigation.

When reported last year, Live Nation Entertainment was allegedly cooperating with the investigation. Per one of Politico‘s sources, investigators were looking at the Ticketmaster side of Live Nation Entertainment and asking questions about prohibitions on reselling tickets, exclusive deals with venues to only use Ticketmaster, and contracts for artist tours.

Amid the probe, Live Nation is still fighting PR battles. Last month, Live Nation’s head of Corporate Affairs, Dan Wall, published a blog on the company’s website entitled “The Truth About Ticket Prices.” The piece alleged that artists are the ones driving high prices and that venues are responsible for the excessive fees. Back in 2023, however, Clyde Lawrence of New York soul-pop outfit Lawrence went before Congress to break down the financial realities of touring as an independent artist. During his testimony, he cited an example of a show the band had played for which tickets were $30 (plus a $12 service fee). After Live Nation and the venue took their cut, the band made $12 a ticket for the performance—before touring expenses. After deducting the costs of touring, the band made $6 per ticket (pre-tax) on a product sold for $42.

While Lawrence admitted that many of these issues are not unique to Live Nation Entertainment and its properties, “[Their] horizontal and vertical reach makes it hard to create competition. Competition is beneficial for many reasons, but innovation is one of the most important. … But it doesn’t matter how innovative these other ticketing companies are; if every Live Nation show needs to be ticketed exclusively through Ticketmaster, there’s no chance for them to break through.”

This story is developing.

The post Report: Justice Department Close To Filing Antitrust Suit Against Ticketmaster Parent Company Live Nation appeared first on L4LM.

Source: L4LM.com