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DOJ sues Live Nation to break up entertainment giant

DOJ sues Live Nation to break up entertainment giant


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The US government did not mince its words yesterday: Live Nation and Ticketmaster must separate. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and 30 state and district attorneys general for follow-up Live Nation, which bills itself as the world's largest live entertainment company, filed a 120-page complaint that it deliberately stifles competition, harms consumers and unfairly raises ticket prices.

The suit alleges that Live Nation threatened retaliation against venues that did not use its ticketing service and that artists who do not use Live Nations tour promotion services cannot perform at any of its venues.

  • The DOJ said the company controls more than 70% of ticket sales at major concert venues nationwide.
  • Additionally, Live Nation controls 265 venues in North America and 60 of the 100 largest amphitheaters in the United States.

It's a parody! » cried the Department of Justice, which allowed the merger 14 years ago. Industry professionals had begged the DOJ to stop Live Nation from purchasing Ticketmaster, warning of the same concerns the DOJ is now citing in seeking to divide them.

Then came Taylor Swift

Eras Tours' ticket-buying process was such a mess that a bipartisan group of senators brought Live Nation executives to Capitol Hill last year to question them about the company's practices. The DOJ investigation was announced shortly after the Swiftie debacle, although the agency claimed it had already investigated the company.

Live Nation called the lawsuit baseless. In a company blog post, one executive claimed the suit ignored pricing factors such as artist popularity and scalpers. The post also states that Live Nations' net profit margin was only 1.4% last year, too low to indicate a monopoly.

A long way to goThe entire case is expected to take years to reach court, especially since the lawsuit requires a jury trial (unusual for this type of case).M.M.




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