U.S. Department of Justice Urged by Senators to Investigate Live Nation, Ticketmaster

Two Democratic US Senators, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, have requested that the Department of Justice (DOJ) investigate online ticketing markets and the anti-competitive tactics used by Live Nation and Ticketmaster, its wholly-owned subsidiary. The Senators have written to Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, who oversees the DOJ’s antitrust division, asking him to investigate the matter and potentially extend the consent decree that allowed Live Nation to merge with Ticketmaster.

The two Senators are concerned that the online ticketing markets are not working for American consumers, and that Live Nation has flouted its conditions under the consent decree, leaving its dominance virtually unchallenged. The decree was put in place in 2010, and it prevents Live Nation from doing business with those who do not contract ticketing services from Ticketmaster. It also stops Live Nation from retaliating against those who sign with Ticketmaster’s competitors. The consent decree is set to expire in July 2020.

The DOJ has never accused Live Nation of any wrongdoing in regards to the consent decree, but it has investigated the company in response to a number of complaints from its competitors. The DOJ will only have the power to extend the consent decree if it formally charges Live Nation with being in violation of it.

The Senators stated that the consent decree has not been effective in regulating the online ticketing market, and they have called for an investigation into the matter. They have also insinuated that Live Nation has engaged in anti-competitive behavior by flouting the conditions of the consent decree.

The letter from the Senators has been applauded by Ticketmaster’s competitor, StubHub, as well as NetChoice, which is a trade association that promotes free enterprise on the Internet. However, it remains unclear how much weight the letter will carry, given that the two Senators are not popular with the Trump Administration.

Live Nation has declined to comment in response to the letter. The company is a major concert promoter, responsible for promoting concerts by some of the world’s biggest artists, including Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, among others.

The online ticketing market has been the subject of debate and controversy for several years. The market is dominated by a few major players, including Live Nation and Ticketmaster, which have been accused of anti-competitive behavior. The companies have also been accused of using their dominance to inflate ticket prices, making it difficult for consumers to buy tickets to popular events at affordable prices.

The Senators’ request for an investigation into the online ticketing market highlights the need for increased regulation and oversight in the industry. It is important that consumers are protected from anti-competitive practices and that the market is fair and accessible to all.

In conclusion, the DOJ’s investigation into the online ticketing market will be closely watched by consumers and industry insiders alike. The investigation will shed light on the anti-competitive practices used by Live Nation and Ticketmaster, and it will help to ensure that the market is fair and accessible to all. Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, it is clear that the online ticketing market is in need of increased regulation and oversight to protect consumers and promote fair competition.

2 Responses

  1. Bill Frizzle

    The biggest issue I have is getting “in the cue” for an arena show at the time it opens and then NEVER being able to get tickets. But, oh looky, there they all are on StubHub, Vivid and – surprise surprise – Ticketmaster Verified.