United States vs. Live Nation Starts Rolling — With a Jury Trial Potentially Starting in March 2026

United States vs. Live Nation trial when will it start
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United States vs. Live Nation trial when will it start
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Photo Credit: Wesley Tingey

The jury trial that could result in breaking up Live Nation and Ticketmaster may begin in March 2026, according to a scheduling order issued Thursday.

In a scheduling order issued on Thursday as part of a case management plan in the antitrust case filed against Live Nation by the US Department of Justice, US District Court Judge Arun Subramanian set a tentative trial date of March 2, 2026. But due to the complex nature of the case, a lot could happen between then and now — and many pre-trial motions and declarations are still up in the air — so that date isn’t set in stone.

In the lawsuit, the federal government is joined by the District of Columbia and the attorneys-general in dozens of states, with more expected to sign on. Live Nation stands accused of using its market dominance to muzzle its competition and take advantage of consumers. The federal government is seeking a reversal of the merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster.

“Live Nation relies on unlawful, anticompetitive conduct to exercise its monopolistic control over the live events industry in the United States at the cost of fans, artists, smaller promoters, and venue operators,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland in a statement issued when the suit was filed. “The result is that fans pay more in fees, artists have fewer opportunities to play concerts, smaller promoters get squeezed out, and venues have fewer real choices for ticketing services.”

The lawsuit alleges many tactics used to “eliminate competition and monopolize markets,” including Live Nation’s relationship with Oak View Group, which the DOJ says “avoided bidding against Live Nation for artist talent and influenced venues to sign exclusive agreements with Ticketmaster.”

Further, the Department of Justice claims Live Nation used its influence to block TEG’s attempts to expand its promotion business into the United States. Live Nation allegedly attempted to prevent TEG from using StubHub as a ticketing service for a concert at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum by refusing to honor any seats sold through the platform.

The DOJ also alleges, though without citing specific examples, that Live Nation implicitly — and sometimes directly — threatens venues that they will not receive the promoter’s top tours if they do not agree to using Ticketmaster. Likewise, the suit claims that if an artist refuses to use Live Nation as a promoter, they can expect to be denied to play at a Live Nation-owned venue.

In addition to denying the allegations against it, Live Nation and its attorneys have told Judge Subramanian that they argue for the case being moved from the Southern District of New York to Washington, DC. It was there that the 2010 consent decree allowing Live Nation to merge with Ticketmaster gave jurisdiction to the DC court. Attorneys for the Justice Department counter that the scope of the case is larger than the jurisdiction of the consent decree.

Subramanian says he is inclined to keep the case in his court, but will entertain motions to the contrary, which must be filed by July 19. The judge also said discovery in the case should begin by July 25, and is expected to be completed by October 30, 2025.