Justice Department to sue Ticketmaster, Live Nation for alleged monopoly over ticketing industry

DOJ preparing anti trust lawsuit against Ticketmaster parent company, Live Nation.

The Department of Justice is planning to file mega anti trust lawsuit against Ticketmaster’s parent company, Live Nation next month

The litigation will accuse the country mega concert promoter of leveraging dominance that undermines competition.

The Wall Street Journal on Monday citing sources familiar with matter. The outlet did not report on specific allegations to be brought in suit.

The DOJ opened its probe into Live Nation maintains monopoly over industry in 2022 when Ticketmaster destroyed while Taylor Swift fans were trying to purchase pre sale tickets for her Eras Tour ” “The New York Times”.

The litigation will country mega concert promoter of leveraging dominance that undermines competition. The Wall Street Journal first report on Monday familiar with matter.

The outlet did not report on specific allegations to be brought in suit.

The Justice Department approved merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster in 2010 with regulators promising to bring more competition into ticketing business.

The stipulations would drive up ticket costs for consumers instead of lowering them, the concert promoter Live Nation which owned or ran 135 mega concert venues around the globe at the time would pressure venues into exclusively using its new ticketing arm.

The condition of 2010 deal were set to expire in 2019 anti trust regulators extended it to 2025 revising settlement to include an anti retaliation clause that would subject Live Nation to a $1 million penalty each time should it threaten to withhold shows if venue sold tickets through a company other Ticketmaster.

Ticketmaster has more competition that it has ever had and deal terms with venues show it has nothing close to monopoly power

The Wall Street Journal recently report that Department of Justice DOJ is preparing to file an antitrust lawsuit against the company as early as next month.

Shares of Live Nation dropped 9% in after hours trading. TD Cowens TMT policy analyst Paul Gallant estimated 70% probability of DOJ initiating legal action.

The specifics of lawsuit are not clear whether it will demand a complete breakup for company or seek less drastic measure like banning contracts with venues.

The analyst think that market reply to full divestiture by Live Nation would be unfavorable.

The lawsuit results in lesser restriction like secondary ticketing or exclusive agreement the impact on Live Nation stock could be positive.

The outcome of DOJ’s investigation lawsuit is still unsure. TD Cowen stands by valuation of Live Nation stock.

The DOJ’s focus might be on Ticketmaster agreement with venues which could lead to Live Nation being stressed to withdraw from ticket resale market and renegotiate venue contracts,

 

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