MAY 23, 2024

Attorney General Alan Wilson joins federal antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation

Department of Justice and 30 AGs allege that Live Nation has illegally monopolized the live entertainment industry

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Attorney General Alan Wilson joined the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and a bipartisan coalition of 29 states and the District of Columbia in filing an antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., which owns Ticketmaster, alleging that the companies have illegally monopolized the live entertainment industry, increasing the prices South Carolina residents pay for live shows.

“Anyone who’s bought tickets to a live event has probably complained about how expensive they were, and we allege that this illegal monopoly has a lot to do with those high prices,” Attorney General Wilson said.

Nearly all major venues in South Carolina are ticketed by Ticketmaster. Live Nation and Ticketmaster affect hundreds of millions of dollars in ticket values in South Carolina, and multiples of that in associated fees, travel costs, and other expenses.

In the lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, the DOJ and states allege that Live Nation has:

  • Harmed fans through higher fees and limited the amount of information fans have regarding the ultimate cost to see a show. Fans’ ticketing experience—from buying a ticket to showtime—is also worse than it would be if the industry were competitive.
  • Maintained its monopoly in ticketing markets by locking up venues through restrictive long-term, exclusive agreements and threats that venues will lose access to Live Nation-controlled tours and artists if they sign with a rival ticketer.
  • Leveraged its extensive network of venues to force artists to select Live Nation as a promoter instead of its rivals, maintaining its promotions monopoly.  

The lawsuit asks the court to restore competition in the live entertainment industry by:

  • Securing financial compensation for the states, as well as for fans who were overcharged by Live Nation, leading them to pay more than they would have in a competitive market for tickets.
  • Prohibiting Live Nation from engaging in its anticompetitive practices.
  • Ordering Live Nation to divest Ticketmaster.

A copy of the complaint is available here.

In joining the DOJ’s complaint, Attorney General Wilson is joined by the attorneys general of: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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