Home Money US sues to separate Ticketmaster and Live Nation, alleging monopoly abuse

US sues to separate Ticketmaster and Live Nation, alleging monopoly abuse

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US sues to separate Ticketmaster and Live Nation, alleging monopoly abuse

The United States Department of Justice has sued Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation Entertainment, for abusing their alleged monopoly in the ticketing market to trample their competitors.

Filed Thursday in the Southern District of New York, the lawsuit focuses on Ticketmaster’s long-term exclusivity contracts with many of the largest music venues, making it the predominant ticketing service available to concert attendees. The company achieves these deals in part by “threatening and retaliating against locations that work with rivals,” the Justice Department alleges.

In the complaint, the DOJ accuses Ticketmaster and Live Nation, which acts as a promoter of hundreds of high profile artists, to exploit their relationship to establish a “self-reinforcing steering wheel” that prevents competitors from gaining a foothold. Live Nation converts its exclusive promotion agreements into exclusive ticketing agreements with venues, the DOJ says, which have no practical choice but to turn to Ticketmaster, for fear of losing access to the most sought-after acts represented by their mother company. The Justice Department is seeking to dissolve the joint organization.

“We allege that Live Nation relies on illegal and anticompetitive conduct to exert its monopoly control over the live events industry in the United States at the expense of fans, artists, small promoters and venue operators,” says Attorney General Merrick Garland. it’s a statement. “The result is that fans pay more in fees, artists have fewer opportunities to play concerts, smaller promoters are excluded, and venues have fewer real options for ticketing services. It’s time to disband Live Nation-Ticketmaster.”

Live Nation declined to comment.

The charges filed by the Department of Justice mirror allegations previously leveled against Ticketmaster in two ongoing private lawsuits.

In December 2022, Ticketmaster was sued by hundreds of Taylor Swift fanswho filed a case in response to a High-profile ticket sales debacle This allegedly left them queuing for hours to pay for tickets they had been allocated under an early access programme, with many ultimately unable to claim their allocations. The incident caused a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the consolidation of the ticketing industry and reportedly helped catalyze the research on Ticketmaster by the Department of Justice.

In their lawsuit, Swift’s fans accused Ticketmaster of abusing its dominant position to impose “higher prices in the pre-sale, sale and resale market for concert tickets.” The company has “effected this anti-competitive scheme by forcing musicians’ fans to use Ticketmaster exclusively to purchase concert tickets,” the lawsuit alleges.

In it second case, a class action lawsuit filed in 2022 on behalf of Ticketmaster customers in the US, Live Nation and Ticketmaster are accused of abusing the complementary relationship between their services to overcharge consumers and maintain their monopoly. “Live Nation controls the vast majority of major national tours and either explicitly or implicitly forces concert venues to select Ticketmaster as their ticketing service provider, under penalty of losing high-value performances,” it states. Adam Wolfson, partner of Quinn Emanuel. , the law firm representing the plaintiffs.

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