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US Senate Subpoenas Live Nation and Ticketmaster Amidst Allegations of Non-Cooperation

 |  November 22, 2023

The US Senate has issued a subpoena against Live Nation and Ticketmaster. The action was taken by Senator Richard Blumenthal, chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, who has long been an advocate for regulatory measures aimed at the two companies.

Taking to social media to elaborate on the reasons behind the subpoena, Senator Blumenthal highlighted concerns regarding the companies’ cooperation with the ongoing investigation. As a co-sponsor of the Unlock Ticketing Markets Act, the Connecticut lawmaker has been a vocal critic of what he perceives as “clear excesses and abuses” by Ticketmaster.

Live Nation’s Executive Vice President of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs, Dan Wall, promptly responded to the senator’s actions, pushing back against the notion that the companies have been uncooperative. Wall asserted, “Live Nation has been cooperating with the Senate Subcommittee’s investigation for months and has in no way been ‘stonewalling.'”

Wall went on to detail the extent of Live Nation’s cooperation, stating, “We have produced documents on every subject that the Subcommittee raised, not only in its initial letter but in subsequent conversations. We have in fact produced nearly 10,000 pages of documents, including more than 2000 emails, dozens of commercial agreements, and voluminous other materials.”

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

The crux of the issue, according to Wall, revolves around the request for “highly sensitive client information” that includes details about how much money artists make from their tours. Wall insisted that Live Nation had expressed a willingness to provide such information with appropriate confidentiality protections, but the Subcommittee had allegedly refused to provide any confidentiality assurances.

“The Subcommittee has refused to provide any confidentiality protections at all,” Wall stated. “That has led to an impasse that left us with no procedural option other than to decline to produce the third-party confidential information at issue. The Subcommittee responded by issuing a subpoena, which was expected. It is only in a subpoena enforcement action that Live Nation can assert its rights to protect the confidentiality of this information.”

The subpoena has attracted additional attention due to reports of an escalating Justice Department antitrust investigation into the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger. While Live Nation recently revealed record Q3 financials, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Rapino, dismissed the timing of related reports and asserted that there was “no real news” regarding the DOJ probe.

Source: Digital Music News