Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti and DOJ Lead Federal Antitrust Lawsuit to Break Up Live Nation/Ticketmaster

30 AGs and the Department of Justice Allege that Live Nation Has Illegally Monopolized the Live Entertainment Industry
Thursday, May 23, 2024 | 10:23am

NASHVILLE – Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti, along with the US Department of Justice (DOJ), led a bipartisan coalition of 30 states and the District of Columbia today in filing an antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., which owns Ticketmaster, alleging that the company has illegally monopolized the live entertainment industry. Live Nation controls two of the most important parts of Tennessee’s live entertainment industry: ticketing and tours.  They are the dominant ticketer and content provider to concert venues in Tennessee. Between 2019 and 2022, Tennesseans spent over $765 million on Ticketmaster tickets.

“Since Ticketmaster’s Taylor Swift ticketing debacle in 2022, my AG colleagues and I have relentlessly sought justice for Americans wanting to attend concerts without having their pocketbooks pillaged by Live Nation’s monopoly,” said Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti.  “I will continue to fight on behalf of the artists, venues, and concertgoers in Tennessee, and I am glad to partner with the DOJ in the bipartisan effort to break up the Live Nation/Ticketmaster monopoly.”

In the lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, the states and DOJ allege that:

  • Live Nation has effectively held venues hostage through restrictive long-term, exclusive agreements and threats that they will lose access to Live Nation-controlled tours and artists if they sign with a rival ticketer.
  • The company leverages its extensive network of amphitheaters to force artists to select Live Nation as a promoter instead of its rivals, maintaining their promotions monopoly.
  • Live Nation’s conduct has harmed fans through higher fees, lack of transparency, fewer consumer choices, and stifling innovation.

The lawsuit asks the court to restore competition in the live entertainment industry by:

  • Prohibiting Live Nation from engaging in its anticompetitive practices that are causing ticket prices to ridiculously surge for concertgoers.
  • Ordering Live Nation to divest Ticketmaster which will fracture this company’s ability to take advantage of Tennesseans wishing to attend concerts.

Along with the DOJ, Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti is joined by the states of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The complaint can be read here.