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Justice Department May File Antitrust Lawsuit Against Live Nation/Ticketmaster By End of Year
Politico has reported that merged live entertainment companies Ticketmaster and Live Nation may receive an antitrust lawsuit from the U.S. Justice Department, dependent on the availability of resources tied up in other cases.
Live Nation and Ticketmaster may face more legal repercussions by the end of the year, Politico reports. The outlet says that the Department of Justice is pursuing an antitrust lawsuit against the media companies, which merged in 2010. Although it isn’t confirmed whether the DOJ will move forward with the lawsuit, the federal executive department claims that Live Nation and Ticketmaster are abusing their power over the live concert industry.
If the lawsuit is successful, it could cause the division of Live Nation and Ticketmaster. However, Seeking Alpha says that the odds are “low” for the companies to be separated. Live Nation has argued that the DOJ’s issue is mainly towards Ticketmaster, with Politico citing its “prohibitions on reselling tickets and exclusive deals with venues.”
“We’re in regular contact with the DOJ and they haven’t told us they think we’re doing anything illegal or asked us to address any concerns,” Dan Wall, Live Nation Executive VP for corporate and regulatory affairs, told Politico. “It would be highly irregular for the DOJ to file without that notice and a lot of dialogue afterwards. However, if they do file we are prepared to defend ourselves.”
Criticism towards Ticketmaster reached a tipping point last fall when tickets went on sale for Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour. Results were disastrous, as cyberattacks ensued, and dedicated Swift fans lost out on tickets after hours of waiting. Due to the debacle, Swift’s tour was rescheduled and disappointed ‘Swifties’ filed lawsuits against Ticketmaster. The DOJ also underwent investigation towards the Live Nation parent company.