At the beginning of the decade, Live Nation and Ticketmaster formed a merger and signed a consent decree with the US Department of justice. In the agreement, the two newly conjoined companies agreed to allow companies other than Ticketmaster to host ticket sales for and Live Nation events. Earlier this year, the DOJ started an investigation into possible violations of this decree before it expired. The Wall Street Journal reports this week that it is now filing a lawsuit against the two companies.
Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, the Justice Department’s antitrust chief, confirmed during a September Senate hearing that the department was investigating allegations that Live Nation had been violating the decree.
Writes the Wall Street Journal,
In August, Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) and Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) asked DOJ to investigate the state of competition in ticketing, focusing on the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger.
Last week, four House lawmakers sent a letter to the department that expressed concerns about the merger, saying, “Our constituents are facing significantly increased live event prices and a lack of meaningful alternatives to purchase tickets to live events.”
Last week, four House lawmakers sent a letter to the department that expressed concerns about the merger, saying, “Our constituents are facing significantly increased live event prices and a lack of meaningful alternatives to purchasing tickets to live events.”
The signatories were Reps. Ken Buck (R., Colo.), Matt Gaetz (R., Fla.), Lucy McBath (D., Ga.) and James Sensenbrenner (R., Wis.).
Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar goes on to comment “Live Nation’s dominance in the sector raises serious antitrust concerns. I’m glad that the Department of Justice is preparing to take action.
Live Nation comments they have done nothing to violate the agreement, which is set to potentially expire next year.