Justice Department says illegal monopoly by Ticketmaster and Live Nation drives up prices for fans

(23 May 2024)

Washington – 23 May 2024
1. Walk up of Attorney General Merrick Garland and DOJ senior leaders
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Merrick Garland, Attorney General:
“Earlier today, the Department of Justice, joined by 29 states and the District of Columbia, sued Live Nation Entertainment and its wholly owned subsidiary, Ticketmaster, for violating the Sherman Antitrust Act. In recent years, Live Nation Ticketmaster’s exorbitant fees and technological failures have been criticized by fans and artists alike. But we are not here today because Live Nation Ticketmaster’s conduct is inconvenient or frustrating. We are here because, as we allege, that conduct is anti-competitive and illegal. Our complaint makes clear what happens when a monopolist dedicates its resources to entrenching its monopoly power and insulating itself from competition, rather than investing in better products and services. We allege that Live Nation has illegally monopolized markets across the live concert industry in the United States for far too long. It is time to break it up.”
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Merrick Garland, Attorney General:
“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."
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Merrick Garland, Attorney General:
"Ticketmaster can impose a seemingly endless list of fees on fans. Those include ticketing fees, service fees, convenience fees, platinum fees, price master fees, per order fees, handling fees and payment processing fees, among others. For fans in the United States, this illegal conduct means higher prices. In other countries where venues are not bound by Ticketmaster’s exclusive ticketing contracts, venues often use multiple ticketing companies for the same event, and fancy lower fees and more innovative ticketing products as a result.”
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Merrick Garland, Attorney General:
“As detailed in our complaint, Live Nation suffocates its competition using a variety of tactics, from acquisitions of smaller regional promoters and venues to threats and retaliation to agreements with rivals designed to neutralize them.”
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Merrick Garland, Attorney General:
“I still remember as a senior in college, going to a Bonnie Raitt concert and seeing a then up and coming musician named Bruce Springsteen play as a warmup act. We all knew that we had just seen the future of rock and roll. The Justice Department filed this lawsuit on behalf of fans who should be able to go to concerts without a monopoly standing in their way. We have filed this lawsuit on behalf of artists who should be able to plan their tours around their fans and not be dictated by an unlawful monopolist. We have filed this lawsuit on behalf of the independent promoters and venues, which should be able to compete on a level playing field.”
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Merrick Garland, Attorney General:
“It is time for fans and artists to stop paying the price for Live Nation’s monopoly. It is time to restore competition and innovation in the entertainment industry. It is time to break up Live Nation Ticketmaster. The American people are ready for it.”

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Manhattan, was being brought with 30 state and district attorneys general and seeks to break up the monopoly they say is squeezing out smaller promoters and hurting artists.

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Author: admin