The Department of Justice is suing Live Nation and Ticketmaster for monopoly control of the live entertainment industry

The Justice Department sued Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation on Thursday, accusing the ticketing companies of blocking competition in the live entertainment industry.

The DOJ, which filed the antitrust lawsuit along with 30 attorneys general, alleges that Ticketmaster and Live Nation's anticompetitive behavior deprives American music fans of ticket innovation and forces them to pay more than fans in other countries.

“We allege that Live Nation relies on unlawful, anticompetitive conduct to exert its monopolistic control over the live events industry in the United States at the expense of fans, artists, smaller promoters and venue operators,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland in a statement. .

“The result is that fans pay more, artists have fewer options to perform concerts, smaller promoters are left out and venues have fewer real choices for ticketing services,” he added. “It's time to split up Live Nation-Ticketmaster.”

The DOJ argued that the ticketing companies engage in exclusionary practices to protect a self-reinforcing business model, using revenue from ticket sales and sponsorships to bring in artists with exclusive promotional deals.

In turn, Live Nation and Ticketmaster would use their “powerful cache of live content” to push venues to sign exclusive, long-term ticket deals, according to a press release.

The ticketing companies have faced mounting public criticism since Ticketmaster suffered a meltdown during singer Taylor Swift's 2022 online pre-sale, leaving thousands of fans unable to purchase tickets for her “Eras Tour.”

Updated at 10:54 a.m. EDT.

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