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Published on May 23, 2024
Illinois Joins DOJ in Landmark Antitrust Suit Against Live Nation and Ticketmaster Over Competitive PracticesSource: Facebook/Live Nation Upstate NY

Attorney General Kwame Raoul has teamed up with the U.S. Department of Justice and a broad coalition of states in filing an antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment Inc. and its subsidiary, Ticketmaster LLC. This legal challenge, rooted in the goal of reinvigorating competition, was filed to offer fans more affordable live entertainment options and to create a level playing field for artists and venue operators. With accusations of Live Nation throttling innovation and overcharging fans on the table, the stakes for the music industry couldn't be higher.

According to a statement obtained by the Illinois Attorney General's office, Live Nation's alleged anti-competitive tactics cost fans more than just the price of admission. With approximately $1.5 billion of Ticketmaster's 2022 sales coming from Illinois, the fiscal impact on live music enthusiasts in the state is significant. Raoul minced no words in his commitment, saying, "Live Nation's anticompetitive business practices have led to higher costs and fewer choices for fans seeking live entertainment in Illinois."

The lawsuit claims that Live Nation has used its immense leverage over venues and promoters to stifle competition and keep a stranglehold on the market, leaving consumers with outdated ticketing technology and inflated fees. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland states that "fans pay more in fees, artists have fewer opportunities to play concerts, smaller promoters get squeezed out, and venues have fewer real choices for ticketing services."

The coalition of states joining the suit reflects a bipartisan consensus that Live Nation's dominance is a national issue, one that spans from the Credit Union 1 Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, Illinois to venues scattered across the 29 states involved. Live Nation is accused of engaging in retaliatory practices, forging exclusionary contracts, and pressuring artists and venues, according to a detailed complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Live Nation's control over a vast array of North American venues, paired with Ticketmaster's status as the leading concert ticketing company in the U.S., has set the stage for this courtroom showdown aimed at reinvigorating the spirit of competition in the live entertainment sector.

Finally, the legal action seeks a significant outcome: the restoration of fair competition. The court is asked to force a divestment of Ticketmaster from Live Nation and to prohibit the entertainment giant from any further anti-competitive behavior. Live Nation's influence cannot be overstated as the nation's largest live entertainment company. The corporation's annual revenue exceeds $22 billion globally, illustrating the vast scope of this antitrust litigation.