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Live Nation and Ticketmaster face antitrust suit

New class action lawsuit filed in US claims promoter is engaging in acts aimed at "eliminating and/or minimising all competition"

By James Hanley on 06 Jan 2022

New Order, Latitude 2016, Festival Republic, Live Nation, Ticketmaster, Front Gate Tickets, UK

Live Nation and its Ticketmaster business have been hit with a new class action lawsuit in the US accusing the firms of “anticompetitive” and “predatory” practices.

The complaint, filed in California federal court by lawyers Quinn Emanuel and Keller Lenkner, says the promoter has exploited its market “dominance” by engaging in acts aimed at “eliminating and/or minimising all competition”.

Accusing Ticketmaster of charging “extraordinarily high” fees, it states that 70% of tickets for major US concert venues are sold via Ticketmaster platforms.

It adds that venue operators must consider “the very real possibility” that Live Nation will not route tours through their venues if they do not select Ticketmaster as their primary ticketing provider.

“The combined Live Nation/Ticketmaster behemoth has enormous, and unique, market power in primary ticketing and concert promotion services, and has shown it is unafraid to use that power,” reads the suit, filed with a group of plaintiffs from California, Ohio and Florida, which seeks to represent any Ticketmaster customer who has bought tickets on the platform since last July.

“Ticketmaster’s dominance in primary ticketing services remains unchecked”

The filing continues: “Defendants’ anticompetitive scheme has been wildly successful and today threatens to put nearly all ticketing services for major concert venues (primary and secondary) in the United States under Ticketmaster’s monopolistic thumb.

“Ticketmaster’s dominance in primary ticketing services remains unchecked, and that dominance becomes ever more impregnable with each passing year due to defendants’ exclusive dealing, tying, and other anticompetitive conduct.”

A similar antitrust suit was filed by Quinn Emanuel attorneys in 2020, which went in Ticketmaster’s favour after going to arbitration.

A Live Nation spokesperson tells The Hollywood Reporter: “Plaintiff’s attorneys have made prior, unsuccessful attempts to bring nearly identical class actions. We are confident in the judicial process.”


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