Live Nation Slapped with $5 Billion Consumer Class Action Lawsuit Following DOJ Case — Potentially the First of Many

Live Nation class action lawsuit
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Live Nation class action lawsuit
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Photo Credit: Filip Andrejevic

Live Nation and Ticketmaster have been hit with a $5 billion consumer class action lawsuit in the wake of the DOJ lawsuit to break up the two companies.

In the first lawsuit against Live Nation and Ticketmaster since the US Justice Department sued to break up the two companies last week, a consumer class action lawsuit was filed against the conglomerate in Manhattan federal court on Thursday. The case is seeking $5 billion in damage on behalf of millions of ticket buyers.

Both the class action lawsuit and the DOJ’s filing accuse Live Nation of monopolizing the live events industry by forcing out its rivals and threatening venues that work with Ticketmaster competitors. The class action could be the first of many against Live Nation and Ticketmaster to ride the wave of the government’s case against the companies.

On Friday, the case was assigned to US District Judge Arun Subramanian, appointed to the court by President Biden last year after having represented plaintiffs in antitrust lawsuits at law firm Susman Godfrey. The class action plaintiffs are represented by attorneys at Israel David and Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd.

Though the Justice Department’s new case against Live Nation not entirely dissimilar to its 2010 case addressing the company’s merger with Ticketmaster, the DOJ stresses that the previous case involved a different antitrust law — Live Nation has since shown “more expansive forms of anti-competitive conduct.”

Live Nation has called the government’s lawsuit “baseless,” asserting that the live events market has “more competition than ever.” Lawyers not involved in the case but who have reviewed the government filing said Live Nation could partially base its defense on the fact the Justice Department agreed to sign off on the company’s acquisition of Ticketmaster in the first place.

But since the government’s signing off on the merger required the companies to adhere to a previously agreed upon set of guidelines, Live Nation’s failure to do so seems like reasonable grounds for legal action. That said, antitrust lawyers such as Eric Enson from Crowell & Moring, who is not involved in the lawsuit, said the government’s case raises “legal and factual questions about whether a breakup is a legally permissible remedy.”

Legal representation for the class action plaintiffs have not immediately responded to media requests for comment.