Live Nation Lawsuit: What to Know About the DOJ’s Attempt to Breakup Ticketing Giant

The U.S. Department of Justice and 30 states have filed a lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment, which owns Ticketmaster. The lawsuit alleges that the ticketing giant has an illegal monopoly over the live music industry.The 128-page lawsuit was filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York on Thursday (May 23). Here's a breakdown of what to know about the Live Nation lawsuit. Which States Have Joined the DOJ in This Lawsuit? The states listed in the court filing are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washinton, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. What Are Some Details the Live Nation Lawsuit Cites as Evidence of a Monopoly? The Live Nation lawsuit provides meticulous details on the ticketing giant's massive influence and control over the live music industry. It states that Live Nation has "strategically acquired a number of smaller and regional promoters that it had internally identified as threats," which has "undermined competition and impacted artist compensation."By doing this, the lawsuit claims Live Nation has a unique control over concert ticket prices, as well as their highly controversial add-on fees, ranging from "Platinum" or "VIP" fees, "service" of "convenience" fees and "facility" fees.Additionally, the lawsuit states Live Nation "locks concert venues into long-term exclusive contracts so that venues cannot consider or choose rival ticketers or switch to better, more, or cost-effective ticketing technology."As a result, the lawsuit argues that Live Nation has "harmed fans" and undermined innovation within the industry. What is Live Nation's Response to the Lawsuit? Shortly after news of the lawsuit broke, Live Nation was quick to respond via press release from Dan Wall, the company's Executive Vice President of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs.In summation, Wall says, "This lawsuit against Live Nation and Ticketmaster won’t reduce ticket prices or service fees."He adds, "There is more competition than ever in the live events market – which is why Ticketmaster’s market share has declined since 2010. Net profits show Live Nation and Ticketmaster do not wield monopoly power."Furthermore, Wall states, "This lawsuit distracts from real solutions that would decrease prices and protect fans – like letting artists cap resale prices." Any Other Notable Statements About the Live Nation Lawsuit? Attorney General Merrick Garland strongly disagrees with Wall and said in a statement, "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. It is time to break up Live Nation."New York Attorney General Letitia James added in her own statement, "For too long, Live Nation and Ticketmaster have unfairly and illegally run the world of live events, abusing their dominance to overcharge fans, bully venues, and limit artists ... Everybody agrees, Live Nation and Ticketmaster are the problem, and it's time for a new era."

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