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DOJ and State AGs Take on Live Nation in Competition Lawsuit

The US Justice Department (DOJ) is preparing to file a competition lawsuit against entertainment giant Live Nation, potentially as early as Thursday, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter who spoke to CBS News, the BBC’s US partner.

Prosecutors are expected to challenge the business practices of Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster. Typically, DOJ competition lawsuits aim to force companies to divest parts of their business or alter their operations.

The DOJ declined to comment when approached by the BBC, and Live Nation has yet to respond to a request for comment.

The federal government will be joined in its legal challenge by numerous state attorneys general, according to the Washington Post, which first reported the story.

The lawsuit is anticipated to allege that Live Nation, which organizes concerts, sells tickets, and owns venues, has stifled competition and reduced consumer choice, leading to higher prices.

This move follows a years-long investigation by the DOJ’s antitrust division. In 2022, CBS News reported that the DOJ was scrutinizing Live Nation and its Ticketmaster unit.

Live Nation Entertainment was formed in 2010 through the merger of US-based events promoter Live Nation and ticket sales and distribution company Ticketmaster. Despite concerns about creating a dominant entity in the live entertainment industry, the DOJ approved the merger at the time.

Live Nation Entertainment has faced increasing criticism from fans, lawmakers, artists, and competitors, accusing the company of wielding excessive influence over live entertainment events in the US and globally.

In November 2022, Ticketmaster provoked widespread anger among Taylor Swift fans when its website crashed during a pre-sale period for the Eras Tour.

Following reports of the DOJ case, Live Nation’s shares dropped by more than 6% in after-hours trading in New York.


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