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Justice Department continues suit against Live Nation-Ticketmaster

Justice Department lawsuit; Ticketmaster

The Justice Department has continued its legal suit against Live Nation-Ticketmaster for its increasing monopoly on event ticket sales.

According to the government’s legal arm, Live Nation-Ticketmaster’s stranglehold on the market is something that “harms fans, innovation, artists, and venues,” as part of an official statement.

Justice Department pursues Live Nation-Ticketmaster

A civil anti-trust suit has been filed by 30 state and district attorneys general Live Nation Entertainment Inc. and the whole-owned Ticketmaster LLC (Live Nation-Ticketmaster).

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York heard the complaint that the monopoly breached Section 2 of the Sherman Act. The Sherman Antitrust Act is a U.S. law that banned businesses from colluding or merging to form a monopoly for massive financial gain.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said of the complaint that the “fight against corporate wrongdoing includes an intense focus on anticompetitive conduct — which disadvantages consumers, workers, and businesses of all kinds. Today’s complaint alleges that Live Nation-Ticketmaster has engaged in anticompetitive conduct to cement its dominance of the live concert market and act as the gatekeeper for an entire industry. Today’s action is a step forward in making this era of live music more accessible for the fans, the artists, and the industry that supports them.”

Live Nation-Ticketmaster is accused of exerting excessive control over specific venues in North America, engaging in what the complainants from 30 states consider to be ‘exclusionary conduct. ‘

According to the Justice Department, this is netting the ticket seller a multi-billion dollar windfall, to the tune of $22 billion globally, as there is no other competitor in the affected states. Live Nation, for example, owns 265 concert venues in the United States, with 60 of the top 100 amphitheaters in the country falling under their control.

Ticketmaster Flywheel

The Justice Department has labeled Live Nation-Ticketmaster’s business practices as the “flywheel.” This self-sustaining loop starts with concert revenue and sponsorship. This revenue is then used to fund the acts booked into venues and exclusive deals, and, according to the complaint, it is used to nail down acts and performers to lucrative multi-year deals. Then, the monopoly cycle begins anew.

“The live music industry in America is broken because Live Nation-Ticketmaster has an illegal monopoly,” said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “Our antitrust lawsuit seeks to break up Live Nation-Ticketmaster’s monopoly and restore competition for the benefit of fans and artists.”

It remains to be seen if Live Nation-Ticketmaster will survive the mass complaints of 30 state and district attorneys, but the global business has certainly hit all the wrong notes with the Justice Department.

Image: Ideogram.


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