Justice Department to Sue Ticketmaster Parent Live Nation Over Alleged Antitrust Violations

By Trisha Andrada

May 23, 2024 06:34 AM EDT

The US Department of Justice and several states are reportedly set to file an antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation, the owner of Ticketmaster, as early as Thursday.

A person familiar with the matter told CNN that the case would be built on the company's alleged antitrust violations, partly due to Ticketmaster's market dominance.

TicketMaster Parent Live Nation to Face DOJ Antitrust Lawsuit Soon: Report
The US Department of Justice and other states will sue Live Nation this week.  
(Photo : Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

2022 Taylor Swift Ticketing Fiasco Sparks Scrutiny on Ticketmaster

The live events business came under intense scrutiny after glitches at Ticketmaster blocked millions of people from buying tickets for Taylor Swift's "The Eras Tour" in 2022.  If an antitrust lawsuit succeeds, this may cause significant changes to the live events market.

According to CNN, many critics of Live Nation referred to the 2022 incident as evidence that the company's lack of competition has caused a cascade of problems. These include bad customer service, unclear pricing, exorbitant ticketing fees, and limits on ticket resales.

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

Live Nation Addresses Concerns Raised by the Senate

In January last year, lawmakers also questioned a top Live Nation executive about the business' procedures in response to the ticketing fiasco.

Senators spent three hours questioning Live Nation president and chief financial officer Joe Berchtold and other witnesses on the company's dominance in the industry and the potential damage it caused to competitors, artists, and fans.

According to musician Clyde Lawrence, who testified at the time, Live Nation's role as promoter, venue, and ticket firm gives the company a lot of leverage when negotiating with artists.

CBS News reported that at one show, the musician's band Lawrence charged $30 for one concert, but after Ticketmaster's 40% charge, tickets cost $42 each. 

After paying facility charges, the band earned $12 per ticket-about half of which covered the touring costs, leaving the eight-piece band with only $6.

Read More: Taylor Swift Bill Signed Into Law by Minnesota Governor to Boost Protections for Online Ticket Buyers

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