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

Ticketmaster's parent company, Live Nation, could face an anti-trust lawsuit from the Department of Justice as soon as next month, a report says.

The Department of Justice is planning to file a major anti-trust lawsuit against Ticketmaster’s parent company, Live Nation, as soon as next month, according to a report. 

The litigation will accuse the country’s largest concert promoter of leveraging dominance in a way that undermines competition, The Wall Street Journal first reported on Monday, citing sources familiar with the matter. The outlet did not report on the specific allegations to be brought in the suit. 

The DOJ opened its probe into whether Live Nation maintains a monopoly over the industry in 2022 when Ticketmaster crashed while Taylor Swift fans were trying to buy pre-sale tickets for her "Eras Tour," The New York Times previously reported. 

TICKETMASTER, LIVE NATION FACE INCREASED PRESSURE FOR DOJ PROBE FROM REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC SENATORS

The Justice Department approved the merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster in 2010, with regulators promising then to bring more competition into the ticketing business. Critics at the time said the stipulations would drive-up ticket costs for consumers instead of lowering them, fearing the concert promoter Live Nation, which already owned or ran 135 major concert venues around the world at the time, would pressure those venues into exclusively using its new ticketing arm, the Journal reported. 

TAYLOR SWIFT TICKET DEMAND CAUSES TICKETMASTER — AND SWIFTIES — MORE HEADACHES

The conditions of the 2010 deal were set to expire in 2019, but anti-trust regulators extended it to 2025, revising the 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 a venue sold tickets through a company other than Ticketmaster. 

"Ticketmaster has more competition today than it has ever had, and the deal terms with venues show it has nothing close to monopoly power," a Ticketmaster spokeswoman told the Journal. 

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In an essay on its company website published last month, Live Nation’s head of corporate affairs Dan Wall pushed back against monopoly allegations, arguing that tickets are actually priced by artists and teams. He said Ticketmaster and other "primary ticketing companies" simply provide "the technology and services that venues need to manage and market shows, sell tickets, and validate tickets for entry." 

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