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News / Business

Justice Department preparing Ticketmaster antitrust lawsuit

By Leah Nylen, Bloomberg News
Published: April 16, 2024, 5:13pm

The Justice Department may file an antitrust complaint as soon as next month aimed at forcing Live Nation Entertainment Inc. to spin off its Ticketmaster ticketing business, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The agency has been investigating the entertainment giant for years amid concerns Live Nation has illegally tied its concert promotion services to use of Ticketmaster, in violation of the terms of the 2010 settlement that allowed it to acquire the ticketing company. Two of the people, who asked not to be named discussing the confidential probe, said the timing of a complaint could still slip.

Several state attorneys general have also been involved in the investigation and could join the Justice Department in an eventual suit, the people said.

A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Live Nation didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ticketmaster, the largest U.S. ticketing company, merged with Live Nation, the biggest concert promoter, 14 years ago following a lengthy antitrust investigation. The Justice Department required the combined company to pledge that it wouldn’t tie its services together or retaliate against venues that switched promoters or ticketing services.

In 2019, the Justice Department alleged that the company had repeatedly violated that promise, and required it to enter a new settlement imposing an external monitor to ensure compliance and investigate any further disputes.

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported on the potential timing of a Ticketmaster suit.

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