The Case Against Live Nation-Ticketmaster
By Katherine Van Dyck and Lee Hepner
The Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger, approved by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (“Justice Department”) through a consent degree in 2010, has beena disaster for the live event industry. It has given Live Nation unprecedented control over artists, venues, and consumers. Live Nation has used this position to block rivals in the primary and secondary ticketing markets, funnel ticketing contracts with its own venues and the tours it promotes to Ticketmaster, extract supra-competitive rents from venues and artists, boycott venues that reject its terms, and price gouge consumers. The consent decree that allowed this merger to go forward in the first instance has clearly failed, and it is time for the Justice Department to take renewed action, either through additional amendments to the consent decree or a new Sherman Act case, to break up the live event giant, bar Live Nation from participating in the primary and secondary ticketing markets in the future, and enjoin the use of exclusivity contracts by Ticketmaster.
This brief dives into the history of the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger, explains how to restore competition to live events and ticketing, and provides a legal roadmap for instituting better remedies to rein in this monopoly’s power.