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DOJ files sweeping antitrust lawsuit against Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation

The lawsuit, which is backed by 29 states and Washington, D.C., comes as Ticketmaster and Live Nation have drawn widespread scrutiny over their exorbitant fees for tickets.
Ticketmaster Antitrust Lawsuit
Posted at 8:58 AM, May 23, 2024

The U.S. Department of Justice has officially filed an antitrust lawsuit against Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation for allegedly monopolizing the music and live entertainment industry and driving up ticket prices for fans.

The complaint, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, accuses both companies of unlawfully using their power over artists, venues and promoters to thwart competition.

"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," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. "It is time to break up Live Nation-Ticketmaster."

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The lawsuit, which is backed by 29 states and Washington, D.C., comes as Ticketmaster and Live Nation have drawn widespread scrutiny over their exorbitant fees for tickets, with prices often far exceeding their face value. Some artists have even resorted to selling tickets in person in order to help fans avoid the high prices and fees that come with online ticket sales.

In response to the lawsuit, Live Nation said in a statement that the DOJ will "lose in court because it ignores the basic economics of live entertainment."

It adds that the bulk of service fees go to venues and that Ticketmaster is increasingly facing competition, cutting into its profit margin.

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"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," the company said.

Live Nation also claims the lawsuit will not benefit consumers because it "distracts from real solutions."

"The DOJ suit 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," the company said.