Live Nation

Live Nation Entertainment Issue Response To The U.S. Department Of Justice’s New Antitrust Lawsuit Against Them


The United States Department of Justice have filed an antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment and its subsidiary Ticketmaster, alleging the live entertainment company has been conducting an “illegal monopoly”, according to Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter.

The suit alleges that the company has utilized exclusivity agreements with venues to lock out other promoters, while also attempting to strongarm venues who work with other promoters, threatening to pull their Live Nation-backed touring packages.

It is also alleged in the suit that Live Nation has attempted to pressure venues into becoming Ticketmaster exclusive outfits. It was further alleged that Live Nation has also been buying out its competitors to retain a dominant position in the field.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement:

“We allege that Live Nation relies on unlawful, anticompetitive conduct to exercise its monopolistic control over the live events industry in the United States at the cost of fans, artists, smaller promoters, and venue operators. The result is that fans pay more in fees, artists have fewer opportunities to play concerts, smaller promoters get squeezed out, and venues have fewer real choices for ticketing services. It is time to break up Live Nation-Ticketmaster.”

While there have been continued calls for legal action against the company over allegedly exorbitant rates and fees and other unscrupulous tactics over the years, the latest catalyst for this legal development seems to be the difficulties fans had in obtaining tickets for Taylor Swift‘s worldwide touring. The difficulty fans had in obtaining reasonably priced tickets for that tour set off a wave of backlash and complaints against the company.

In 2019 Live Nation were targeted by the Justice Department for allegedly pressuring venues into using Ticketmaster — a condition they have not been allowed to engage in since the two companies’ merger was approved back in 2010. Since then, Live Nation have made several gestures that could be construed as good-will, or PR moves, depending on who you ask.

Among their initiatives are last year’s implementation of transparent ticket fees, as well as the On The Road Again‘ program, which has rewarded touring artists with travel vouchers and waived merch cuts. The company also raised the minimum wage for over 5,000 of their venue employees.

A spokesperson for Live Nation Entertainment issued the following response to this newly filed suit:

“The DOJ’s lawsuit won’t solve the issues fans care about relating to ticket prices, service fees, and access to in-demand shows. Calling Ticketmaster a monopoly may be a PR win for the DOJ in the short term, but it will lose in court because it ignores the basic economics of live entertainment, such as the fact that the bulk of service fees go to venues, and that competition has steadily eroded Ticketmaster’s market share and profit margin.

Our growth comes from helping artists tour globally, creating lasting memories for millions of fans, and supporting local economies across the country by sustaining quality jobs. We will defend against these baseless allegations, use this opportunity to shed light on the industry, and continue to push for reforms that truly protect consumers and artists.”

Live Nation Entertainment have also launched this web page, which looks  to argue their side of the case in the court of public opinion, presenting several infographics and more. An excerpt from it reads:

‘The complaint—and even more so the press conference announcing it—attempt to portray Live Nation and Ticketmaster as the cause of fan frustration with the live entertainment industry. It blames concert promoters and ticketing companies—neither of which control ticket prices—for high ticket prices.

It ignores everything that is actually responsible for higher ticket prices, from increasing production costs to artist popularity, to 24/7 online ticket scalping that reveals the public’s willingness to pay far more than primary tickets cost. It blames Live Nation and Ticketmaster for high service charges, but ignores that Ticketmaster retains only a modest portion of those fees. In fact, primary ticketing is one of the least expensive digital distributions in the economy.’

Live Nation reported $22.7 billion in revenue in 2023, with a net income of $734 million.

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