Live Nation, Ticketmaster Face Class Action Litigation Over Monopolistic Abuse

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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.

6 Responses

  1. infinitelight

    Live Nation-Ticketmaster is a fully corrupt corporation that seems to run on 100% greed and 0% respect for anyone in their industry. They deserve to be sued into bankruptcy. The industry needs a decentralized marketplace of buyers (fans) and sellers (venues & performers & promoters & resellers) and a policy that caps ticket prices at face value. Reselling tickets should not be a career. Money spent on tickets should go to venues, performers, and the people they hire. That’s it.

    • infinitelight

      Examples of marketplaces with face value caps:

  2. BLobbo

    THis is utter silver lining to this terrible crisis. Ticketbastard and Screw Nation are terrible organizations full of true monopolist scum.

    I would love to never hear word of these two horrid corporations ever again, but I doubt that’s what will happen. Ticket issuance should be a public service administered by a non-profit. It should NOT be a for profit corporation.

    Live show production is another story, but it should NOT be a monopoly full of bullsheit 360 deals like those forced onto artists by Screw Nation.

  3. Ohm

    Live Nation set up some kind of “Crew Nation” relief fund to supposedly benefit people in the live production field if they were members of live venue staff, security, technicians, etc – but all that ended up happening is they collected all this data about venue owners and crew members, but only just today announced that it couldn’t be fulfilled because they were missing a tax document, EVEN THOUGH they offered an alternative to document all the shows and venues I’d worked for over the last year, all my personal info (SS/EVERYTHING about me/where I’ve been, what I’ve made), but even after contacting my venue owner who confirmed my employment and losses, I was deemed ineligible somehow.

    Was this a criminal data grab? Seems like it. I just doxxed everyone who I worked for OUTSIDE of their elite clubhouse. Seems to me COVID is only here to help the corporate monoliths utterly crush smaller format competition.

    (I am a full time sound tech with lighting certification, doing nothing but live production for over 13 years. To date, I have lost 13K in income roughly, with no hope of DFW TX concerts returning soon. This has been devastation for us, both economically and for our momentum. Live Nation dangles a scrawny carrot, only to pull it away when we’re really hurting.)