Disgruntled customers have filed a new class-action lawsuit against Live Nation and Ticketmaster over the companies’ alleged monopolistic business practices within the live event industry.
Olivia Van Iderstine and Mitch Oberstein submitted the complaint to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division, and a copy of the filing was shared with Digital Music News.
The lawsuit emphasizes the substantial market share that Ticketmaster boasts – one “exceeding 70% of primary ticketing services for major concert venues” – and states that “Ticketmaster charges supracompetitive fees made possible by its dominant market position.”
Then, the legal document proceeds to describe Live Nation’s alleged “stranglehold” on the live-event industry, besides arguing that the Live Nation-Ticketmaster entity uses its dual-edged concert-promotion and ticket-distribution reach to inflate ticketing prices.
More specifically, the plaintiffs claim that the (post-2010 merger) Live Nation/Ticketmaster brand has “regularly threatened venues with less (or no) Live Nation Entertainment tours if they did not select Ticketmaster as their primary ticketing service provider.” In turn, event tickets’ costs were inflated, according to the lawsuit’s filers.
And from there, the extensive filing, which spans some 72 pages, describes Ticketmaster and Live Nation’s business practices, the nature of Ticketmaster’s scalping-prevention “conditional license,” ticket-transfer procedures, and much else.
At the time of this writing, Live Nation and Ticketmaster hadn’t publicly addressed the lawsuit.
The complaint is the latest in a series of hurdles for Live Nation and Ticketmaster, which, like many businesses (and especially companies that center chiefly on the live-event sphere), have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, irate ticketholders filed a separate class-action lawsuit against the companies, as well as the MLB and StubHub, a little over a week ago.
However, recent weeks’ happenings haven’t been entirely negative for today’s leading concert promoter. On the heels of Saudi Arabia’s investing $500 million, Live Nation saw its per-share price increase substantially yesterday, to more than $47.
The stock has since lost a portion of its value – just over four percent from yesterday’s close, presently – but has more than doubled from the $21.70 it touched during the domestic onset of the coronavirus crisis.