National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations

Justice Department sues Live Nation, Ticketmaster, alleging monopoly over live entertainment industry

The Justice Department sued Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation on Thursday, accusing the ticketing companies of blocking competition in the live entertainment industry.

The DOJ, which filed the antitrust lawsuit alongside 30 state and district attorneys general, alleges that Ticketmaster and Live Nation’s anti-competitive behavior deprives U.S. music fans of ticketing innovation and forces them to pay more than fans in other countries.

“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,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.

“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,” he added. “It is time to break up Live Nation-Ticketmaster.”

The DOJ argued that the ticketing companies engage in exclusionary practices to protect a self-reinforcing business model, in which they use revenue from ticket sales and sponsorships to lock in artists with exclusive promotion deals.

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