TicketMaster Parent Live Nation to Face DOJ Antitrust Lawsuit Soon: Report

By Trisha Andrada

Apr 16, 2024 08:47 AM EDT

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) reportedly plans to sue Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster, for federal antitrust violations. 

In 2010, the department had approved the merger between concert promoter Live Nation and Ticketmaster following an antitrust probe. Despite the legislators' concerns, Live Nation maintained that there was plenty of competition in the ticketing sector.

Taylor Swift Fans Demonstrate Outside U.S. Capitol As Ticket Industry Executives Testify To Congress
Penny Harrison and her son Parker Harrison rally against the live entertainment ticket industry outside the U.S. Capitol January 24, 2023 in Washington, DC.
(Photo : Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Live Nation to Be Sued by DOJ for Antitrust Crime

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, reported Monday that the Justice Department will file an antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation as soon as next month.

According to the WSJ report, the lawsuit would claim that Live Nation had used its dominance to undermine competition for ticketing live events.

Ticketmaster was put in the national spotlight when its website crashed during Taylor Swift's 2022 Eras Tour online presale, preventing thousands of Swifties from buying tickets. Legislators have since probed Live Nation for possible anticompetitive behavior.

Reuters reported that the US lawmakers criticized Live Nation during a hearing in January 2023 for not being transparent enough, having an unfair cost structure, and being unable to stop bots from buying tickets.

Live Nation's president and chief financial officer Joe Berchtold apologized to Swift supporters at that hearing, but Ticketmaster blamed scalper bots.

Read Also: 2 Warner Bros. Discovery Board Members Step Down After DOJ Disclosed Antitrust Probe

Live Nation Denies Being Responsible for High Ticket Prices

According to Dan Wall, head of corporate affairs of Live Nation, has denied claims that the company and Ticketmaster are to blame for the high ticket prices, The Hill reported. 

In a blog post last month, Wall said artists and their teams determine the ticket rates, while the venues determine additional service fees. According to Wall, fans were told that "service charges are Ticketmaster's way of raising ticket prices."

However, he noted that the "Ticketmaster does not set service charges, venues do, and most of the money goes to the venues." Wall added that high ticket prices can also be connected with supply and demand for live entertainment.

Read More: Willy Wonka-Inspired Event in Glasgow Ends With Visitors Calling Police as They Believe They Got Scammed

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