Ticketmaster Could Face DOJ Antitrust Lawsuit

Reside Nation and its subsidiary Ticketmaster might face an antitrust lawsuit from the Division of Justice as early as this fall, Politico studies.

In response to three folks conversant in the matter, the lawsuit would declare that Ticketmaster is abusing its energy within the leisure business by squashing different ticketing competitors. Primarily based on previous feedback from antitrust head Jonathan Kanter, if the lawsuit is profitable, Reside Nation and Ticketmaster could also be pressured to separate strains of enterprise.

Kanter has made clear his desire to litigate antitrust violators fairly than settle, and would additionally fairly impart structural treatments — like breaking apart the leisure giants — fairly than behavioral fixes, like asking the businesses to vow to not have interaction in sure behaviors.

In a press release to Politico, Reside Nation govt VP for company and regulatory affairs Dan Wall stated, “We’re in common contact with the DOJ they usually haven’t advised us they assume we’re doing something unlawful or requested us to deal with any considerations. It could be extremely irregular for the DOJ to file with out that discover and lots of dialogue afterwards. Nevertheless, in the event that they do file we’re ready to defend ourselves.”

The potential antitrust swimsuit would observe years of federal oversight on Reside Nation and Ticketmaster, which started when the businesses merged in 2010. Up to now, each companies agreed to dump some ticketing property, license their ticketing software program, and never pressure venues to make use of Ticketmaster — although Reside Nation has been accused of violating the latter clause. In a 2019 settlement, the corporate agreed to increase courtroom oversight by way of an unbiased compliance monitor by means of 2025.

In response to Politco’s sources, the lawsuit could be extra targeted on Ticketmaster’s actions than Reside Nation’s. The Justice Division has reportedly requested the corporate about its resale insurance policies, its offers with venues to solely use Ticketmaster, and its contracts with artists.

Whether or not or not the DOJ really hits Ticketmaster with a lawsuit this fall might come right down to assets, the report says. Antitrust trials towards Google and JetBlue/Spirit Airways are already slated for September and October, whereas investigations into the conduct of Apple and Visa, in addition to an Adobe/Figma merger, are ongoing.

This elevated authorities strain follows an extended line of accelerating frustration at Ticketmaster. Final yr, the corporate botched its ticket sale to Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” so badly that a number of followers initiated lawsuit, whereas Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced a congressional antitrust listening to. One other class-action case targeted on inflated costs to Drake’s present tour with 21 Savage.