Live Nation accused of shutting down sites that don’t use Ticketmaster in retrial – The Hollywood Reporter


Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation Entertainment are once again accused of violating antitrust laws by monopolizing the sale of tickets. This time around, a group of plaintiffs from California, Ohio and Florida filed a nationwide class action lawsuit accusing the companies of forcing sites to boycott competing ticketing platforms and roll out travel deals. ‘unreasonable arbitration.

Highlighting reduced competition and inflated ticket prices, a lawsuit filed Tuesday in California federal court by attorneys for Quinn Emanuel and Keller Lenkner argues that a 2010 merger between the two companies allowed them to overcharge consumers . “Combined giant Live Nation / Ticketmaster has enormous and unique market power in the primary ticketing and concert promotion services, and has shown that it is not afraid to use that power,” it reads. the complaint, which is incorporated below.

The lawsuit details an allegedly illegal trade deal under which Live Nation, the largest concert organizer in the United States, threatens to suspend major venue shows if it does not select Ticketmaster as its primary ticketing service provider.

“The defendants have continued to prosper by entering into exclusive anti-competitive agreements with major concert hall operators (which are bolstered by Ticketmaster’s relationship with Live Nation Entertainment), as well as numerous other unfair and anti-competitive acts discussed here. which aim to eliminate and / or minimize all competition, both in primary ticketing services and, more recently, in secondary ticketing services, ”the lawsuit said.

According to the complaint, Ticketmaster has a more than 70% market share of the major ticketing services for large concert halls, and in 2015 was the platform used for 85% of Taylor Swift tickets.

Consumers have long complained about high ticket prices, hidden fees, and the lack of alternatives other than Ticketmaster to purchase concert tickets.

The two classes offered include all US spectators who have purchased a primary ticket and paid the associated fees using Ticketmaster or an affiliated entity and those who have purchased tickets in the secondary market using the platform or another service owned by Live Nation at any time since 2010.

Ticketmaster and Live Nation in 2020 were the subject of a similar antitrust lawsuit, also filed by lawyers for Quinn Emanuel, which was referred to arbitration. US District Judge George Wu in September ruled that consumers are locked into contracts that oblige them to resolve their complaints outside the courts.

The newly filed complaint argues that arbitration agreements are unenforceable because they force consumers to submit to unfair procedures, and also challenges the recent shift in using the established arbitration and mediation provider JAMS to a start-up. -up called ADR new era which allows companies to keep the service on mandate via a subscription service.

The filing of the complaint also follows the Justice Department’s finding that Live Nation violated restrictions on its merger with Ticketmaster. Under a 2019 regulation To resolve the allegations, Live Nation can face a fine of $ 1 million if it threatens revenge on a site that chooses another ticketing service provider.

Ticketmaster and Live Nation have yet to respond to requests for comment.

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