Justice Department sues Ticketmaster’s parent company | WORLD
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Justice Department sues Ticketmaster’s parent company

Attorney General Merrick Garland Associated Press/Photo by Jose Luis Magana

Justice Department sues Ticketmaster’s parent company

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday told reporters that the Justice Department and most U.S. states had filed an antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment. Live Nation also includes Ticketmaster since their 2010 merger. Garland alleged that the company dominated the ticketing and concert venue market for years using anti-competitive and illegal practices.

What exactly is the Justice Department alleging? Live Nation’s dominance has resulted in fans paying more for fees imposed by Ticketmaster, artists having fewer concert opportunities, and venues having fewer ticketing options.

Garland alleged that Live Nation’s Ticketmaster:

  • Controls at least 80 percent of ticketing for live shows in the United States.

  • Controls more than 70 percent of concert ticket sales at large venues.

  • Controls more than 400 artists and more than 60 percent of concert promotions.

  • Controls or owns more than 60 percent of large arenas and amphitheaters in the country.

What does Live Nation have to say? The company blamed the higher prices for fans on ticket scalping—or buying a ticket at an initial, cheap price and then re-selling it for significantly higher prices. Live Nation said the idea that it had monopoly power was “absurd,” and the Justice Department ignored many factors while depicting it as the cause of fans’ woes. Live Nation’s profit margin was 1.4 percent during the last fiscal year, it said.

What penalty is the Justice Department asking for? The lawsuit asks the court to prevent Live Nation from engaging in anti-competitive business practices going forward, order the divestiture of Ticketmaster, and take other measures necessary to restore competition to the ticketing industry.

Dig deeper: Read Lauren Canterberry’s report in The Sift about Time magazine declaring Taylor Swift the “Person of the Year” after her tour sales crashed Ticketmaster’s website.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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