Phoenix/ Politics & Govt
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Published on May 24, 2024
Attorney General Kris Mayes and Coalition of 29 States Sue Live Nation Alleging Monopoly Over Live EntertainmentSource: Google Street View

Cracking down on what they call a "monopoly," Attorney General Kris Mayes and a posse of 29 states plus D.C. have teamed up with the feds in a high-stakes antitrust lawsuit against the entertainment juggernaut, Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. The man at the helm, Attorney General Mayes, claimed the firm's stranglehold on the industry forces Arizonans to cough up more cash than they should for a taste of live entertainment—a bitter pill for fans and artists alike, according to an Arizona Attorney General's office press release.

Live Nation, which owns Ticketmaster, is being taken to task for allegedly monopolizing the live entertainment scene—coming down like a hammer on consumer wallets through inflated fees and playing coy with the full cost of show tickets. "For years, Live Nation's anti-competitive and monopolistic practices have resulted in Arizonans paying more to see their favorite artists than they otherwise would have," Attorney General Mayes said in the lawsuit, also pointing at the reduced options left for artists and venues ensnared by Live Nation's tentacles.

Filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, the lawsuit hammers on the accusation that Live Nation kept rivals at bay through long-term exclusive deals and strong-arm tactics telling venues they'll be left in the cold, stripped of major tours, and acts if they don't play ball. It's a grip on the market that also purportedly leaves artists with no choice but to go through Live Nation as their promoter, ensuring the company's promotion monopoly stands unchallenged.

The legal challenge puts forward a clear demand: rein in the behemoth and dissolve its anti-competitive practices. Attorneys general, with the Department of Justice, want Live Nation to cut loose Ticketmaster and halt the practices of keeping a stranglehold on the market, as explained in the press release. It's a bipartisan blitz with legal eagles from coast to coast—from Arkansas to Wisconsin—lining up behind Mayes to take a swing at restoring competition to the live entertainment industry.