PHOENIX – Several states, including Arizona, have reached a settlement with Live Nation after it was discovered that Live Nation, a ticket broker, allegedly violated terms of a 2010 Consent Judgment by engaging in retaliation and other anti-competitive behavior.
Live Nation entered into a consent decree in 2010 as a requirement for completing its merger with Ticketmaster.
According to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, in 2010, Live Nation notified the DOJ of its intent to merge with Ticketmaster. DOJ, along with several states, identified a number of anti-competitive concerns with the original merger. Specifically, prior to the merger, Live Nation had a newly-created ticketing service that competed with Ticketmaster, but post-merger, the loss of competition could result in higher ticketing fees and less innovation. Also, the combination of ticketing and promotion services could make it difficult for small firms to compete for primary ticketing services.
Live Nation’s consent decree, which was set to expire in July 2020, prohibited it from engaging in anti-competitive conduct, including retaliating against any venue that contemplates using or works with Ticketmaster’s competitors.
Violations at six different venues across the country were discovered through a recent investigation. Most of the violations involved Live Nation pulling or threatening to pull its shows from a venue if the venue chose not to use Ticketmaster for their ticketing services. Yet in the 2010 consent decree Live Nation agreed to not retaliate against venues or companies that chose not to use Ticketmaster.
The investigation also found other violations including violations of the anti-conditioning provision of the 2010 consent decree as Live Nation would only use a venue for its events if the venue used Ticketmaster for ticketing.