Attorney General Henry Files Lawsuit Against Ticketmaster for Illegal Monopoly Over Live Entertainment

May 23, 2024 | Topic: Consumers

U.S Department of Justice and 30 AGs Seek Stoppage of Anti-Competitive Practices, Relief for Consumers who Overpaid for Tickets

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Michelle Henry is leading a bipartisan coalition of 30 states, along with the U.S. Department of Justice, in an antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ticketmaster, LLC.

The suit filed Thursday alleges that Live Nation — owner and operator of numerous venues nationwide, including Pennsylvania — and Ticketmaster — the ticketing service giant — form an illegal monopoly over the live entertainment industry. The suit also alleges that Live Nation has engaged in anti-competitive practices to maintain its monopoly. 

Live Nation and Ticketmaster’s dominance has impacted fans across the Commonwealth. In 2022, Pennsylvanians spent approximately $1.5 billion dollars on live entertainment, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

“Live Nation and Ticketmaster have long had a chokehold on much of the live entertainment industry,” Attorney General Henry said. “Consumers who want to see one of their favorite bands, artists, or shows, are likely to encounter Live Nation and Ticketmaster at the gates. Pennsylvanians deserve to have fair and competitive choices when it comes to tickets to live entertainment.” 

The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for Southern District of New York alleges that:

  • Live Nation has maintained its anti-competitive monopoly in ticketing markets by locking up venues through restrictive long-term, exclusive agreements and by threatening that venues will lose access to Live Nation-controlled tours and artists if they sign with a rival ticketing company.
  • Live Nation leverages its extensive network of amphitheaters and other venues to force artists to select Live Nation as a promoter instead of its rivals, maintaining its promotions monopoly.
  • Live Nation’s conduct has harmed fans through higher fees, lack of transparency, fewer consumer choices, and stifling innovation.

The lawsuit asks the court to restore competition in the live entertainment industry by:

  • Ordering Live Nation to divest Ticketmaster.
  • Awarding financial compensation for consumers who paid more than they should have for tickets in a competitive market.
  • Prohibiting Live Nation from engaging in its anticompetitive practices.

A copy of the complaint is available here.

The complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and Pennsylvania is represented by First Deputy Attorney General James Donahue, Executive Deputy Attorney General Mark Pacella, Chief Deputy Attorney General Tracy Wertz, Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General Joseph Betsko, and Senior Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Thomson. Pennsylvania is joined in the complaint by the Attorneys General of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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