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(Credit: Ryan Arnst)

Music

Live Nation and Ticketmaster being sued for “predatory conduct”

Having merged back in 2010 to become Live Nation Entertainment, Live Nation and Ticketmaster are currently being sued for allegedly breaking antitrust laws, with accusers maintaining that the respective companies have engaged in “predatory” behaviour in order to dominate the concert ticket market.

The lawsuit was filed by a group of claimants from California, Ohio, and Florida, who are just some of the “hundreds of thousands if not millions” of people represented by attorneys at Quinn Emanuel and Keller Lenkner. This is the second case to be made against Live Nation Entertainment by Quinn Emanuel – following a similar attempt back in 2020.

That previous suit ended with a ruling in favour of Ticketmaster. According to reports made by Billboard, the judge found that: “When plaintiffs purchased their tickets, they had agreed to settle any disputes with Ticketmaster via private arbitration rather than in open court”. Claimants subsequently filed an appeal, the result of which is yet to be announced.

This new suit adds fuel to the fire that Live Nation Entertainment has forced “aggrieved customers” into “one-sided” arbitration agreements. It also claims that the duel influence of the combined concert ticket companies has allowed them to intimidate venues into selling tickets exclusively through Ticketmaster. This, it has been claimed, also allows them to overcharge their customers with zero competition.

However, it looks as though the tide is beginning to turn. While Live Nation Entertainment’s scheme has threatened to put all major concert venues under Ticketmaster’s “monopolistic thumb”, the recently-filed suit states that the ticketing giant has “clearly engaged in blatant, anti-consumer behaviour for years”. The file goes on to claim: “In addition to its behind-the-scenes efforts to feed ticket brokers huge amounts of supply if they sold on Ticketmaster’s secondary platform, the DOJ recently needed to move to extend the consent decree it originally crafted to permit the Live Nation Entertainment-Ticketmaster merger, because Defendants – as has only recently become public to ticket-buying consumers – shamelessly violated its terms for years.”

In essence, the plaintiffs are arguing that because both Ticketmaster and Live Nation are operating under the same umbrella company, they wield immense power and an unfair degree of leverage over their competitors in the world of concert promotion. The merged company, the filing claims, is able to keep “a stranglehold on concert promotion services by paying its clients exorbitant amounts”. While past suits filed against Ticketmaster and Live Nation have failed, in a statement offered to Billboard, a spokeswoman for Live Nation said, the plaintiff’s attorneys “are confident in the judicial process.”

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