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Live Nation May Face Antitrust Lawsuit

Live Nation reportedly may be facing an antitrust lawsuit as early as May.

The Justice Department is preparing to sue the concert promotion and ticketing company after investigating its size and negotiating power in its field, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Monday (April 15).

The suit will allege that Live Nation, which is the parent company of Ticketmaster, has used its dominance in the field of ticketing for live events to undermine competition, according to the report.

A Ticketmaster spokeswoman told WSJ, “Ticketmaster has more competition today than it has ever had, and the deal terms with venues show it has nothing close to monopoly power.”

Live Nation’s head of corporate affairs, Dan Wall, added, “If you have to hone in on one slice of the market in order to allege a monopoly, then there isn’t one.”

Wall was referring to a finding that Ticketmaster held more than 80% of the market for primary ticket sales in the biggest venues in the U.S., per the report. He noted that ticketing companies compete for many more venues than that.

The federal government did not try to block the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster in 2010, according to the report.

However, since then, the firm has faced criticism of its ticket fees, customer service and allegedly anticompetitive practices, the report said. Critics have called for the company to be broken up.

The Justice Department’s latest investigation began in 2022 and was accelerated by the November 2022 crash of Ticketmaster during a presale of tickets to fans of Taylor Swift before the launch of her “Eras Tour,” per the report.

After that incident, the company came under fire for website crashes that prevented fans from procuring tickets to see Swift’s tour.

In January 2023, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing called “That’s the Ticket: Promoting Competition and Protecting Consumers in Live Entertainment.”

During that hearing, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said: “I just want to dispel this notion that this is not a monopoly and then we can go from there about solutions.”

At the time of the website crash, Ticketmaster said demand for the tour “broke records and part of our website.”