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News September 2, 2019

Live Nation responds to US senators urging ticketing investigation

Live Nation responds to US senators urging ticketing investigation

Live Nation has responded to two American senators asking the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate competition irregularities in the ticketing industry.

As Pollstar reports, they cited “serious concerns that online ticket markets are not working for American consumers.”

Live Nation’s response, not surprisingly, has to say the senators got it wrong, and there is no need for an inquiry.

The letter took issue with Live Nation. When it was allowed to merge with Ticketmaster in 2010, the DOJ received warnings and criticisms from some of the live sector.

The DOJ approved the merger, telling he two companies they were under the consent decree that they not ban concerts and venues from buildings that do not use Ticketmaster, or retaliate when a venue uses a Ticketmaster competitor.

“The consent decree has been criticized as ineffective, and there have been disturbing reports that Live Nation has flouted its conditions,” the letter read.

Live Nation’s compliance has been under investigation for some years, amidst complaints from rivals.

They also claim venues which use Ticketmaster get priority.

The senators’ letter cited a New York Times article about allegations from the live sector of anti-competitive practices.

The DOJ consent decree runs out in July 2020, and the senators want the investigation to start immediately, and to extend tthe conditions.

Live Nation emailed a statement to US media, challenging the senators’ claims.

“Unfortunately, the senators’ letter is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of our consent decree and general ticketing industry dynamics.

“Ticketmaster has been successfully growing its client base over the past decade as a result of continuous innovation and providing the best ticketing solution in the industry.

“During that period, Live Nation and Ticketmaster have always complied with their obligations under the consent decree.

“We do not force anyone into ticketing agreements by leveraging content, and we do not retaliate against venues that choose other ticketing providers.

“Nevertheless, for years now some competitors have found it useful to confuse the issue with misinformation and baseless allegations of consent decree violations.

“These complaints have been investigated by the Department of Justice pursuant to its broad powers to monitor compliance with the decree.

“There is no cause for further investigations or studies.”


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