DOJ Sues Live Nation to Unwind Ticketmaster Merger

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DOJ Sues Live Nation

The U.S. Department of Justice sued Live Nation Thursday over the 2010 agreement clearing the concert promotion giant’s purchase of Ticketmaster, an oft-maligned deal that enforcers now want to unwind and that is blamed for fiascoes like the meltdown of ticket sales for Taylor Swift’s Eras tour.

Live Nation and Ticketmaster have faced accusations ever since the platforms merged, including claims that they charged exorbitant prices for concert tickets and retaliated against concert venues that used other ticketing companies.

The DOJ Antitrust Division has moved against the deal’s fallout once before, forcing Live Nation in early 2020 to extend and tweak the original merger clearance settlement, over allegations it retaliated against concert venues trying to use ticketing companies other than Ticketmaster. Those Trump-era changes were not enough for Biden-era enforcers, who’ve been pushed to sue by lawmakers and advocacy groups.

DOJ Sues Live Nation

Calling Live Nation the “monopolist” that “serves as the gatekeeper for the delivery of nearly all live music in America today,” the complaint filed in New York federal court and joined by the attorneys general of more than two dozen states and the District of Columbia argued Live Nation and Ticketmaster have used their tremendous power over concert venues and performers “to insert themselves at the center and the edges of virtually every aspect of the live music ecosystem.”