Full Text Of The Justice Department’s Live Nation-Ticketmaster Statement

(Hypebot) — Learn the total textual content of the assertion launched by the US Division of Justice explaining why they’re suing to interrupt up Reside Nation and Ticketmaster for alleged monopolistic practices that hurt followers, artists, and impartial venues.

Thursday, Could 23, 2024

Justice Division Sues Reside Nation-Ticketmaster for Monopolizing Markets Throughout the Reside Live performance Business

Reside Nation-Ticketmaster’s Exclusionary Conduct and Dominance Throughout the Reside Live performance Ecosystem Harms Followers, Innovation, Artists, and Venues

The Justice Division, together with 30 state and district attorneys normal, filed a civil antitrust lawsuit towards Reside Nation Leisure Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ticketmaster LLC (Reside Nation-Ticketmaster) for monopolization and different illegal conduct that thwarts competitors in markets throughout the stay leisure trade. The lawsuit, which features a request for structural reduction, seeks to revive competitors within the stay live performance trade, present higher selections at decrease costs for followers, and open venue doorways for working musicians and different efficiency artists.

The criticism, filed immediately within the U.S. District Courtroom for the Southern District of New York, alleges that Reside Nation-Ticketmaster unlawfully workouts its monopoly energy in violation of Part 2 of the Sherman Act. On account of its conduct, music followers in the USA are disadvantaged of ticketing innovation and compelled to make use of outdated know-how whereas paying extra for tickets than followers in different international locations. On the identical time, Reside Nation-Ticketmaster workouts its energy over performers, venues, and impartial promoters in ways in which hurt competitors. Reside Nation-Ticketmaster additionally imposes obstacles to competitors that restrict the entry and growth of its rivals.

“We allege that Reside Nation depends on illegal, anticompetitive conduct to train its monopolistic management over the stay occasions trade in the USA at the price of followers, artists, smaller promoters, and venue operators,” mentioned Lawyer Common Merrick B. Garland. “The result’s that followers pay extra in charges, artists have fewer alternatives to play concert events, smaller promoters get squeezed out, and venues have fewer actual selections for ticketing providers. It’s time to break up Reside Nation-Ticketmaster.”

“At this time’s announcement displays the newest efforts by the Justice Division to fight company misconduct,” mentioned Deputy Lawyer Common Lisa Monaco. “Our battle towards company wrongdoing contains an intense concentrate on anticompetitive conduct — which disadvantages shoppers, employees, and companies of all types. At this time’s criticism alleges that Reside Nation-Ticketmaster have engaged in anticompetitive conduct to cement their dominance of the stay live performance market and act because the gatekeeper for a complete trade. At this time’s motion is a step ahead in making this period of stay music extra accessible for the followers, the artists, and the trade that helps them.”

“The Division is dedicated to competitors all through the economic system, together with in stay music,” mentioned Appearing Affiliate Lawyer Common Benjamin C. Mizer. “As our criticism alleges, Reside Nation-Ticketmaster monopolizes the markets for concert events and different stay occasions on the expense of followers, venues, and artists throughout the nation. The Division is proud to convey this case to revive competitors to this trade.”

“The stay music trade in America is damaged as a result of Reside Nation-Ticketmaster has an unlawful monopoly,” mentioned Assistant Lawyer Common Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Division’s Antitrust Division. “Our antitrust lawsuit seeks to interrupt up Reside Nation-Ticketmaster’s monopoly and restore competitors for the advantage of followers and artists.”

In keeping with the criticism, Reside Nation-Ticketmaster has unlawfully maintained monopolies in a number of live performance promotions and first ticketing markets and engaged in different exclusionary conduct affecting stay live performance venues, together with arenas and amphitheaters. The criticism additional alleges that Reside Nation-Ticketmaster’s exclusionary practices fortify and defend what it refers to as its “flywheel.” The flywheel is Reside Nation-Ticketmaster’s self-reinforcing enterprise mannequin that captures charges and income from live performance followers and sponsorship, makes use of that income to lock up artists to unique promotion offers, after which makes use of its highly effective cache of stay content material to signal venues into long run unique ticketing offers, thereby beginning the cycle over again. Reside Nation-Ticketmaster’s anticompetitive conduct creates much more obstacles for rivals to compete on the deserves. Particularly, Reside Nation-Ticketmaster engaged in a wide range of techniques to eradicate competitors and monopolize markets:

  • Relationship with Oak View Group: Reside Nation-Ticketmaster exploits its longtime relationship with Oak View Group, a possible competitor-turned-partner that has described itself as a “hammer” and “defend[or]” for Reside Nation. In recent times, Oak View Group has prevented bidding towards Reside Nation for artist expertise and influenced venues to signal unique agreements with Ticketmaster. For instance, Reside Nation has scolded Oak View Group a number of occasions for attempting to compete. In a single occasion, Reside Nation requested, “who can be so silly to . . . play into [an artist agent’s] arms,” and on one other event, Reside Nation acknowledged, “let’s be certain that we don’t let [the artist agency] now begin enjoying us off.”
  • Retaliating Towards Potential Entrants: Reside Nation-Ticketmaster efficiently threatened monetary retaliation towards a agency until it stopped certainly one of its subsidiaries from competing to realize a foothold within the U.S. live performance promotions market.
  • Threatening and Retaliating Towards Venues that Work with Rivals: Reside Nation-Ticketmaster’s energy in live performance promotions signifies that each stay live performance venue is aware of selecting one other promoter or ticketer comes with a danger of drawing an adversarial response from Reside Nation-Ticketmaster that might end in shedding concert events, income, and followers.
  • Locking Out Competitors with Exclusionary Contracts: Reside Nation-Ticketmaster locks live performance venues into long-term unique contracts in order that venues can’t take into account or select rival ticketers or swap to raised or cheaper ticketing know-how. These contracts enable Reside Nation-Ticketmaster to cut back aggressive stress to enhance its personal ticketing know-how and customer support.
  • Blocking Venues from Utilizing A number of Ticketers: Reside Nation-Ticketmaster’s conduct and unique contracts stop new and totally different promotions and ticketing opponents and enterprise fashions from rising. They block venues from having the ability to use a number of ticketers, who would compete by providing the very best combine of costs, charges, high quality, and innovation to followers.
  • Limiting Artists’ Entry to Venues: Reside Nation-Ticketmaster has more and more gained management of key venues, together with amphitheaters, by way of acquisitions, partnerships, and agreements. Reside Nation-Ticketmaster restricts artists’ use of these venues until these artists additionally agree to make use of their promotion providers.
  • Buying Rivals and Aggressive Threats: Reside Nation-Ticketmaster strategically acquired quite a few smaller and regional promoters that it had internally recognized as threats. This has undermined competitors and impacted artist compensation.

Reside Nation Leisure Inc. is a Delaware company headquartered in Beverly Hills, California. It describes itself because the “largest stay leisure firm on the planet,” the “largest producer of stay music concert events on the planet,” and “the world’s main stay leisure ticketing gross sales and advertising firm.” Reside Nation additionally owns or controls greater than 265 live performance venues in North America, together with greater than 60 of the highest 100 amphitheaters in the USA. It generates over $22 billion globally in annual income from three enterprise segments: concert events (e.g., promotions, venue administration, and music competition manufacturing), ticketing (e.g., Ticketmaster enterprise), and sponsorship and promoting.

Ticketmaster LLC is an entirely owned subsidiary of Reside Nation. It’s a Virginia restricted legal responsibility firm with headquarters in Beverly Hills. Ticketmaster sells live performance tickets to followers when these tickets first go on sale and operates resale platforms that allow purchasers to resell these tickets at a later time. Ticketmaster is by far the biggest live performance ticketing firm in the USA, a number of occasions the dimensions of its closest competitor.