The DOJ wants to rip Ticketmaster away from Live Nation

Together with

The Future. The US Department of Justice, along with 29 states and Washington, D.C., have joined to file an antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation, with the goal of forcing the largest live event company in the world to divest from ticketing giant Ticketmaster. If the case is successful (and we expect this one to be a long fight), the resulting increased competition in ticketing providers could greatly reduce the fees attached to event admissions.

Lawsuit lineup
The DOJ’s lawsuit alleges that Live Nation and Ticketmaster are too big, too interconnected, and have acquired too much power.

  • According to the suit, the combined companies have done so by forcing venues into exclusive ticketing contracts, pressuring artists to use its promotional services, and either threatening or acquiring rivals to stifle competition.
  • That’s led to higher prices for consumers (what the suit calls the “Ticketmaster tax”), a lack of technological innovation (partially what led to the TSwift debacle), and a lack of opportunities for smaller promoters or ticketers.
  • Additionally, the suit points to the fact that Live Nation owns or controls many of the top venues in the US — its “flywheel” business model locks up every facet of an event to benefit its interrelated businesses and its involvement in secondary ticket sales.

Live Nation, which allegedly controls 60% of concert promotions at major venues around the US and 80% of ticketing at major concert venues, says the suit is ultimately without merit and won’t change the price of tickets (which are typically set by artists).

Not that Live Nation necessarily wants prices to go down — its revenue was up a record 36% last year to almost $23 billion.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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