USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (2024)

Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation is facing an antitrust lawsuit from the US Department of Justice and 30 state and district attorneys general accusing the company of having a monopoly in the live ticketing industry.

Live Nation and Ticketmaster had been under regulatory scrutiny when the two companies merged in 2010, but criticisms of the company reached a breaking point when Ticketmaster crashed under the weight of millions of Taylor Swift fans trying to buy tickets for the Eras Tour in 2022. The incident set off a monthslong investigation and a bill that would force ticket sellers to show total prices upfront.

The lawsuit against Live Nation (PDF) claims that its control over ticket sales, promotions, management, and venue ownership gives the company an unfair advantage over competitors. In addition to driving up ticket prices, the DOJ alleges that Live Nation’s dominance allows it to “lock up artists to exclusive promotion deals” and “sign venues into long term exclusive ticketing deals.”

Read on for more updates about the US government’s antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation-Ticketmaster.

  • USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (1)

    May 23

    Elizabeth Lopatto

    Finally!

    “It is time to break up Live Nation-Ticketmaster,” said US Attorney General Merrick Garland, in a statement announcing the DOJ antitrust lawsuit.


    The US government is trying to break up Live Nation-Ticketmaster

    Lauren Feiner

    andJess Weatherbed

  • USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (3)

    May 23

    Richard Lawler

    Watch the DOJ’s Live Nation-Ticketmaster press conference right here at 11AM ET.

    The feds have filed an antitrust lawsuit seeking to break up Live Nation, the parent company of event ticketing giant Ticketmaster, and we’re about to hear more details from the government’s side in this press conference.


  • USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (4)

    May 23

    Lauren FeinerandJess Weatherbed

    The US government is trying to break up Live Nation-Ticketmaster

    USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (5)

    Image: The Verge / Kenishirotie (via Getty)

    The US Justice Department and 30 state and district attorneys general have filed an antitrust lawsuit against Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation Entertainment, alleging that it has a monopoly in the live ticketing industry that enables it to illegally suppress competition.

    “It is time to break up Live Nation-Ticketmaster,” US Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement announcing the lawsuit.

    Read Article >

  • USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (6)

    May 22

    Elizabeth Lopatto

    Live Nation is facing a DOJ antitrust lawsuit, WaPo reports.

    The announcement could come as soon as Thursday. Live Nation, which owns Ticketmaster, calls itself “the largest producer of live music concerts in the world.” It’s one of many agents of consolidation that drastically reshaped music.


  • USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (7)

    May 16

    Lauren Feiner

    House passes bill that would make ticket sellers show total prices upfront

    USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (8)

    Photo by David Gray / AFP via Getty Images

    The House passed the TICKET Act 388-24 on Wednesday, which would force ticket sellers to show consumers total prices (including fees) upfront and guarantee refunds when events are canceled or postponed.

    The bill would still need to pass the Senate and be signed by the president to become law, but the overwhelming support in the House is a positive sign. The legislation comes after the Ticketmaster fiasco around Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour tickets, where the ticket-selling platform canceled general sales after high demand it later partially blamed on bots. That prompted lawmakers to haul its top exec from its parent company, Live Nation, into a hearing. In the wake of the disaster, The New York Times reported that the Department of Justice was investigating Live Nation over whether it violated antitrust law by abusing its dominance in the live events industry.

    Read Article >

  • USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (9)

    Apr 16

    Emma Roth

    Ticketmaster’s Taylor Swift ticketing fiasco might have just led to a lawsuit from the DOJ

    USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (10)

    Photo by Ashok Kumar / TAS24 / Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

    The Department of Justice is preparing to file an antitrust lawsuit against Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The lawsuit could reportedly come as early as next month and will target the company’s alleged monopoly in the live ticketing industry.

    Live Nation drew antitrust scrutiny when it merged with Ticketmaster in 2010. But those concerns boiled over in November 2022 when a Ticketmaster crash blocked thousands of Taylor Swift fans from purchasing tickets for the Eras Tour due to “unprecedented demand.” The DOJ opened an investigation into Live Nation shortly after, The New York Times reported.

    Read Article >

  • USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (11)

    Feb 6

    Adi Robertson

    The Justice Department is still gunning for Ticketmaster.

    But according to Bloomberg’s Leah Nylen, it’s delayed plans to file an antitrust complaint from late 2023 to sometime this year, continuing its investigation into the company’s business practices. It’s reportedly not too happy with Ticketmaster’s response, either:

    Antitrust enforcers, who have been investigating the company for more than a year, have been frustrated with Ticketmaster over how slowly it has responded to the Justice Department’s requests, said two of the people. Because of that, the Justice Department has been forced to rely on third-parties to help make its case. In December, the Justice Department sent follow-up information requests to rival ticketing platforms, said two other people familiar with the matter.


  • USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (12)

    Oct 26, 2023

    Makena Kelly

    Ticketmaster’s still hiding ticket fees, senator says

    USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (13)

    Photo by Drew Angerer / Getty Images

    Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster, promised to scrap the hidden fees plaguing its ticketing service earlier this year. But one senator says the company’s not doing nearly enough.

    In a letter to Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino Wednesday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) called on the company to turn on an “all-in” pricing filter that it added this year by default. Klobuchar said it’s “still too difficult” for users to turn on the filter that’s “buried within a tab that gives no indication that it contains” the option in the first place.

    Read Article >

  • USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (14)

    Jun 15, 2023

    Makena Kelly

    Live Nation-Ticketmaster to disclose full ticket prices upfront

    USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (15)

    Photo by Scott Legato / TAS23 / Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

    President Joe Biden is set to announce that ticketing giants Live Nation and Ticketmaster have promised to disclose the full price of tickets upfront, essentially removing the haunting prospect of hidden fees at checkout, according to Reuters.

    Live Nation and Ticketmaster have been the focus of regulatory ire for years, but scrutiny hit a fever pitch last November when Live Nation canceled ticket sales for Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour. While the Swift cancellations were reportedly due to a bot attack, the event became the focus of critics who argue that Live Nation drives up ticketing costs and fees for customers by entering into anti-competitive contracts with venues.

    Read Article >

  • USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (16)

    Mar 21, 2023

    Nilay Patel

    Taylor Swift vs. Ronald Reagan: the Ticketmaster story

    This special episode of Decoder dives deep into Taylor Swift, Ticketmaster, and how a handful of policy changes in the 1980s led to one firm so thoroughly dominating the live events business in the United States that Congress held a hearing in 2023 because Taylor Swift fans were upset about antitrust law. That sentence is wild. We’re going to unpack all of this with the help of some experts.

    And since it’s a special episode, we’re trying something new. We produced a video you can watch in this post or on YouTube. Let us know what you think.

    Read Article >

  • USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (17)

    Feb 1, 2023

    Jay Peters

    Beyoncé fans may be the next to release their anger at Ticketmaster

    USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (18)

    Photo by Mason Poole / Parkwood Media / Getty Images for Atlantis The Royal

    Ticketmaster is about to face its next big test. Just over three months after the Taylor Swift debacle, Ticketmaster will be the place to buy tickets for Beyoncé’s upcoming Renaissance World Tour that was announced on Wednesday.

    Like with the Taylor Swift presale, people who want to get tickets for Beyoncé’s shows in North America will have to register with Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan platform. Ticketmaster notes in a blog post that registering does not guarantee that you’ll get tickets, and the Verified Fans who actually get a code to buy tickets will be determined by a lottery system.

    Read Article >

  • USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (19)

    Jan 24, 2023

    Makena Kelly

    Senators and Swifties take on Ticketmaster in Washington

    USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (20)

    Photo by Drew Angerer / Getty Images

    Months after Ticketmaster botched sales for Taylor Swift’s most recent tour, a top executive from its parent company, Live Nation, faced scrutiny over its market dominance on Capitol Hill from senators and Swifties alike.

    Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Live Nation president and CFO Joe Berchtold throughout the hearing on Tuesday, arguing that the company’s control over the concert and events industry has harmed consumers. In her opening statement, antitrust committee chair Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) called Live Nation’s business model the “definition of monopoly.”

    Read Article >

  • USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (21)

    Dec 4, 2022

    Emma Roth

    Taylor Swift fans are suing Ticketmaster over presale disaster

    USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (22)

    Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

    A group of 26 Taylor Swift fans are suing Ticketmaster following last month’s ticketing fiasco that left frustrated users unable to buy tickets for Swift’s The Eras Tour (via Deadline). In a lawsuit submitted to a California court, the fans accuse Ticketmaster’s parent company, LiveNation, of “anticompetitive conduct” that let scalpers snap up a surplus of tickets, resulting in higher ticket prices for the fans who could actually get their hands on them.

    In addition to alleging that Ticketmaster forces fans to “exclusively” use the service to purchase tickets at prices “above what a competitive market price would be,” the suit claims Ticketmaster also profits off the resale of those tickets through its secondary marketplace. As outlined on Ticketmaster’s website, the company adds a service fee to each ticket sold on its fan-to-fan exchange — but doesn’t specify how much — that’s paid by the buyer on top of the ticket price. The lawsuit claims Ticketmaster has “conspired” with stadiums “to force fans to buy more expensive tickets that Ticketmaster gets additional fees from every time the tickets are resold.”

    Read Article >

  • USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (23)

    Nov 19, 2022

    Jay Peters

    The DOJ has reportedly opened an antitrust investigation into Ticketmaster’s owner

    USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (24)

    Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

    The Department of Justice is investigating Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation Entertainment over antitrust concerns, The New York Times reported Friday. Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged in 2010 but have come under scrutiny for largely dominating the live event ticket sales market. Ticketmaster has received renewed attention after it dropped the ball with Taylor Swift ticket sales this week.

    The DOJ has reached out to venues and “players in the ticket market” in recent months to ask about the company’s practices, according to the NYT, meaning the probe predates this week’s debacle. DOJ spokesperson Arlen Morales declined to comment.

    Read Article >

  • USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (25)

    Nov 18, 2022

    Jay Peters

    Ticketmaster yanked its explanation for the Taylor Swift ticket debacle

    USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (26)

    Photo by Sven Hoogerhuis / BSR Agency / Getty Images

    Update, November 19th 8:12AM ET: Ticketmaster has since reinstated the post on its website with some minor changes. You can see our original story and Ticketmaster’s previous post below.

    Ticketmaster has taken down its explanation for why buying a ticket to Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour was an absolute disaster. The explanation, titled “The Taylor Swift Onsale Explained,” was live in two places on Ticketmaster’s website on Thursday and is now gone from both. But because the internet never forgets, you can still read it thanks to Google’s cache, and in case that fails, we’ve embedded it at the bottom of this article.

    Read Article >

  • USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (27)

    Nov 18, 2022

    Mitchell Clark

    Taylor Swift is just as mad at Ticketmaster as you are

    USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (28)

    Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

    Taylor Swift has spoken out about the boondoggle that was the Ticketmaster sale for her The Eras Tour, and it doesn’t seem like she’s saying sorry just for show. In a statement posted to her Instagram story, which you can read in full below, she says that she’s “trying to figure out how this situation can be improved moving forward” but that she’s “not going to make excuses for anyone.”

    She doesn’t mince words when talking about her fans’ experiences with Ticketmaster, saying that “it really pisses me off” what people had to go through to get tickets. She also thanks her fans for wanting to come to her shows, saying they “have no idea how much that means.”

    Read Article >

  • USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (29)

    Nov 17, 2022

    Jay Peters

    Ticketmaster cancels its public sale of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour tickets

    USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (30)

    Photo by Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

    Ticketmaster is canceling the upcoming public sale of Taylor Swift tickets after the presale debacle earlier this week. Ticketmaster said it canceled the sale “due to extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand” in a tweet Thursday afternoon.

    Tuesday’s presale for Swift’s The Eras Tour was a disaster, with Ticketmaster crashing following “historically unprecedented demand.” Ticketmaster said millions came to the service to try and buy presale tickets.

    Read Article >

  • USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (31)

    Nov 15, 2022

    Jay Peters

    Taylor Swift crashed Ticketmaster following ‘historically unprecedented demand’ for tickets

    USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (32)

    Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

    The massive demand for presale tickets for Taylor Swift’s latest concert tour crashed Ticketmaster on Tuesday. The company’s support account tweeted that fans “may be experiencing intermittent issues” and that it’s “urgently” working to resolve problems.

    On Tuesday afternoon, Ticketmaster said that the presale has led to “historically unprecedented demand” for tickets with “millions” showing up to the presale. Despite the issues, the company says it has sold “hundreds of thousands” of tickets already, but when the sales are for the giant stadiums that Swift will be playing at, that may not be as impressive as it sounds. Ticketmaster will also be delaying the onsale times for the Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Santa Clara, and Seattle shows to 3PM PT. The Capital One presale, which had been scheduled for Tuesday, is being rescheduled to Wednesday.

    Read Article >

USA v. Live Nation-Ticketmaster: all the news on the lawsuit that could take down a giant (2024)
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