The US Department of Justice Sues Live Nation and Ticketmaster Over Alleged ‘Monopoly’

The US Department of Justice Sues Live Nation and Ticketmaster Over Alleged ‘Monopoly’

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It's pretty fair to say that most mega-corporations are evil. But some of them are actually worse than others. Live Nation and Ticketmaster fall into this category with their horrible ticketing practices. Anyone who has been to a concert in recent years has quickly realized this a series of fees, which often add up to the price of one or more tickets, are tagged to a purchase. And they basically have a monopoly on the event ticket business. It's gotten so bad that the US Department of Justice has sued Live Nation and Ticketmaster for violating the Sherman Antitrust Act. (Thanks to variety to bring this to everyone's attention!)

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This law is a federal law that “prohibits activities that restrain interstate commerce and competition in the marketplace.” If this suit succeeds, it could change how Live Nation, which owns Ticketmaster, operates. Here is an official statement from the Attorney General:

“We allege that Live Nation relies on illegal and anticompetitive conduct to exert its monopolistic control over the live event industry in the United States at the expense of fans, artists, smaller promoters and venue operators. The The result is that fans pay more fees, artists have fewer opportunities to play concerts, smaller promoters are squeezed out, and venues have fewer real options for ticketing services.”

Of course, Live Nation had a response to the lawsuit:

“The DOJ's lawsuit will not solve the issues fans are concerned about regarding ticket prices, service fees, and access to in-demand shows. Labeling Ticketmaster a monopoly may be a PR win for to the DOJ in the short term, but it will lose in court because it ignores the basic economics of live entertainment, such as the fact that most of the service's fees go to locals, and that competition has steadily eroded the share of market and Ticketmaster's profit margin Our growth comes from helping artists tour the world, create lasting memories for millions of fans, and support local economies across the country by sustaining quality jobs . We will defend ourselves against these baseless allegations, use this opportunity to shine a light on the industry, and continue to push for reforms that truly protect consumers and artists.”

While I don't see the Justice Department as a hero here, I absolutely hope this leads to changes at Live Nation that make going to shows fairer and more affordable for everyone.



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