DOJ Sue Ticketmaster and Livenation Over Antitrust Violations

(Daily360.com) The United States Department of Justice has filed a first of its kind lawsuit to break Live Nation and Ticketmaster for the monopoly they hold on the entertainment event industry. The lawsuit is supported by 30 Attorney Generals from states and districts around the U.S. The lawsuit claims that the ticket conglomerate used its monopoly to abuse and harm fans.

Glitches to the Ticketmaster system prevented millions of fans from purchasing Taylor Swift tickets in 2022 and the company received intense scrutiny for poor customer service. While fans of concerts and sporting events may rejoice for potential changes that occur following the resolution of the lawsuit, Live Nation says there will be little to no effect on the fees that are charged.

The lawsuit is expected to take years to be resolved in the court system. Live Nation called the allegations from the DOJ baseless in a statement. The company said the DOJ is getting a PR victory for referring to the Live Nation Ticketmaster partnership as a monopoly, but said they will lose in court. The company said the allegation ignores the basic economic principles of the entertainment industry.

Live Nation also said their profit margin during the most recent fiscal year was only 1.4%, which is significantly less than what the 24% DOJ target caps for tech companies like Google and Apple. AG Merrick Garland disagrees and says the excessive fees charged by the ticketing companies are illegal. Garland claims the monopolistic structure of Live Nation and Ticketmaster is unfair to fans, musicians, and promoters.

If the lawsuit is successful, it may open the door for smaller ticketing agencies to promote concerts. Ticketmaster currently controls 70% of the industry’s ticket sales. According to Pollstar data, ticket prices increased by 31% from 2018 to 2023 for the top 100 tours. The average price for a ticket in 2023 for one of the top touring artists was $122.84.

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