The US Department of Justice will reportedly file an antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster, this week.

The New York Times reports that the US Justice Department will file the lawsuit as soon as Thursday, with sources revealing that it will focus on Live Nation’s alleged behaviour of illegally maintaining a monopoly in the live music industry.

This includes arguments of Live Nation capitalising on its ownership of Ticketmaster, which runs exclusive ticketing contracts with concert venues. Live Nation is also said to have bolstered its ability to run a monopoly by raising prices and fees for consumers though its supposed dominance over concert tours and venue management.

The lawsuit was first revealed in a report by the Wall Street Journal in April, which claimed that Live Nation now controls more than 80 per cent of live music ticket sales in the US since its 2010 merger with Ticketmaster. Live Nation refuted the allegations in a statement by its head of corporate affairs Dan Wall, who argued that the company has more competition than ever.

CNN reports that should the lawsuit prove successful, it could pave the way for effective changes in the market for live events. Live Nation has yet to issue a public statement on the latest reports.

Last February, Live Nation declared its biggest year yet in 2023 in an end-of-year report, citing skyrocketing concert attendance and ticket sales. Ticketmaster sold 620million tickets, a 13 per cent increase from the previous year. Its revenue increased by 32 per cent to nearly $3billion.

This is not the first antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation. In 2022, a class action lawsuit filed by a group of plaintiffs – said to include “hundreds of thousands if not millions” of customers – alleged Live Nation was a “monster [that] must be stopped”. It was thrown out in February 2023 by a federal appeals court after it was ruled that buyers had waived their right to sue.

In December 2022, Taylor Swift fans in the US sued Ticketmaster with allegations of fraud, price fixing and antitrust violations during its “verified fan” pre-sale of The Eras Tour tickets. The main plaintiff in the lawsuit dropped it a year later, with a court filing stating that the two sides had “agreed to continue their ongoing settlement discussions through mediation”.

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