New Campaign Launches to Break Up Ticketmaster
Washington, D.C. — A new coalition led by the American Economic Liberties Project, Sports Fans Coalition, Fight Corporate Monopolies, More Perfect Union, Fan Freedom, the Consumer Federation of America, the National Consumers League, and the Artist Rights Alliance launched “Break Up Ticketmaster,” a campaign to pressure the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate and unwind the 2010 Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger. The campaign launch features a new policy quick-take from Economic Liberties, an explainer video from More Perfect Union staring author and journalist Cory Doctorow, and a coalition letter writing campaign that will allow fans, artists, and venues across the country to share stories of Ticketmaster’s anticompetitive conduct and demand the DOJ move to break it up.
“Ticketmaster’s market power over live events is ripping off sports and music fans and undermining the vibrancy and independence of the music industry,” said Sarah Miller, Executive Director of the American Economic Liberties Project. “With new leadership at the DOJ committed to enforcing the antitrust laws, our new campaign helps connect the voices of fans, artists, and others in the music business who are sick and tired of being at the mercy of Ticketmaster’s monopoly with enforcers who have the power to unwind it.”
“Everyday Americans are being scammed and extorted by Ticketmaster for wanting to see their favorite sports teams and artists perform,” said Helen Brosnan, Executive Director of Fight Corporate Monopolies. “More than a decade later, their merger has resulted in consumers being held hostage by a company that uses its monopoly power to make everyone’s experience miserable — artists, concertgoers and sports fans, and independent venues alike. It should have never happened in the first place and the DOJ must step in and break them up.”
“Live Nation-Ticketmaster has been unabashedly raising prices and fees, giving fans no other choice but to give them their hard-earned money to attend events,” said Faiz Shakir, Executive Director of More Perfect Union. “This is an opportunity for the Department of Justice to demonstrate that government is working to protect our best interests by reversing the failed merger of Live Nation-Ticketmaster after a decade of scamming Americans.”
As Economic Liberties’ policy quick-take — “How Antitrust Enforcers Helped Create a Live Events Monster” — and More Perfect Union’s explainer video detail, the Live Nation-Ticketmaster deal was a disaster. In 2010, when Ticketmaster and Live Nation combined, Ticketmaster was already the largest player in the ticketing market. Now, Live Nation-Ticketmaster owns more than 70 percent of the primary ticketing and live event venues market, and uses that power to hike up ticket prices, tack on expensive junk fees, and exploit artists, independent venues, and fans.
Now, momentum is building to unwind the merger. At the FTC and DOJ’s Media & Entertainment Listening Forum in April, Russell D’Souza, Co-Founder & Head of Business Partnerships at SeatGeek, spoke passionately about the merging, noting that the “industry lives under the shadow of Live Nation” with competitors “fearful” of “retaliation” from Live Nation-Ticketmaster. Several lawmakers have also called out Live Nation-Ticketmaster’s misconduct, noting that “the Department of Justice should act to reinvigorate competition in the ticket market to help consumers.”
With the “Break Up Ticketmaster” letter writing campaign, music lovers, artists, sports fans, venue owners, and event goers across the country can raise their voice too. Letters submitted through the campaign will be delivered to Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Jonathan Kanter in coming months.
Read “How Antitrust Enforcers Helped Create a Live Events Monster” here.
Watch More Perfect Union’s “Why Ticketmaster Needs To Be Broken Up” video here.
The American Economic Liberties Project works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. Economic Liberties believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.