Front Page Talking Points


U.S. government may challenge concert business dominance of Live Nation and Ticketmaster


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Two concert industry giants that merged in 2010 may have grown more dominant than the federal government can tolerate. Live Nation Entertainment and Ticketmaster reportedly soon will face a federal antitrust lawsuit after years of criticism from fans and politicians over how the show promoter and ticket seller uses its power. Concerns boiled over when a Ticketmaster crash blocked thousands of Taylor Swift fans from getting Eras Tour seats. Senators held a hearing last year and the U.S. Justice Department began investigating whether Live Nation abuses its market power with monopoly-like actions. The firm boasts that it’s the "largest live entertainment company in the world."

The Democrat who chairs a Senate antitrust subcommittee, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, said at the start of last year's hearing that Live Nation’s business model is the "definition of monopoly." She added: "As millions of Taylor Swift fans found out last fall, there are few consequences for failing to deliver the service." Klobuchar and other senators say that the two merged companies drive up ticket costs and fees for consumers and force venues into unfair arrangements. "Whether it's for fans, promoters, or venue operators, we need to make sure we have competition to bring prices down, the Minnesota senator adds.

Live Nation "takes its responsibilities under the antitrust laws seriously," the firm says in an online statement, "and does not engage in behaviors that could justify antitrust litigation." The Biden administration has pushed other antitrust cases, including a March lawsuit accusing iPhone maker Apple of hurting consumers by limiting smartphone competition. Earlier, Justice Department lawyers got a judge to block Penguin Random House's purchase of rival book publisher Simon & Schuster. The Federal Trade Commission has sued to block Meta, Facebook's parent company, from acquiring a small virtual reality start-up. A case against Live Nation is being prepared, The Wall Street Journal reported recently, citing anonymous sources familiar with the government's plans.

Ticketmaster says: "Ticketmaster has more competition today than it has ever had, and the deal terms with venues show it has nothing close to monopoly power." – Company representative

Senator says: "Millions of Americans rely on your company for the chance to see their favorite artist, band, or sports team. In return for their business and trust, your customers expect a transparent and honest ticket buying process free from hidden fees." – Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., in letter to Live Nation's chief executive

Journalist writes: "If this lawsuit pans out, it would mark yet another landmark antitrust lawsuit in the U.S., in addition to the Department of Justice's ongoing case against Apple." – Emma Roth, The Verge news site

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for, Copyright 2024

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Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.