A PYMNTS Company

Senator Blackburn Blasts Ticketmaster Amid DOJ Probe

 |  April 22, 2024

The Department of Justice (DOJ)’s impending investigation into Live Nation and Ticketmaster’s alleged anti-competitive practices has ignited criticism from legislators, with Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn leading the charge against what she perceives as the exploitation of music fans.

In an exclusive statement to Fox News Digital, Senator Blackburn vowed to closely monitor the Department’s actions, emphasizing the need for the online ticket industry to better serve music enthusiasts across America. The Senator accused Ticketmaster and Live Nation of allowing ticket bots to snatch up tickets and resell them at inflated prices on the secondary market, while also condemning the sale of speculative tickets, which effectively do not exist, to unsuspecting fans.

Senator Blackburn, who has been a staunch advocate for songwriter and artist rights throughout her tenure, argued that the ticketing industry must realign its priorities to prioritize the interests of artists, venues and fans, rather than corporate profit margins.

Related: Ticketmaster Commits To End Hidden Fees After Biden’s “Junk Fees” Criticism

The scrutiny on Live Nation and Ticketmaster intensified following a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, which hinted at an imminent antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation. The lawsuit, expected to be filed as soon as next month, comes after years of accusations of anti-competitive behavior since the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster in 2010. This merger was followed by a controversial decision in 2019 to refine and extend their consent decree, amidst allegations of coercive tactics to force venues into using Ticketmaster.

Adding fuel to the fire, Representative Bill Pascrell of New Jersey recently brought attention to a suppressed study detailing what he described as “rampant corrupt and abusive practices” by the Live Nation-Ticketmaster monopoly. The report, originally filed as part of a lawsuit against Live Nation in 2019, allegedly exposes over a decade of anti-competitive tactics employed by the entertainment giant.

Source: Ticket News