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Attorney General Josh Stein Sues Live Nation over Antitrust Claims

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, May 23, 2024

Contact: Nazneen Ahmed

U.S. Department of Justice and Bipartisan Group of 30 AGs Allege that Live Nation Has Illegally Monopolized the Live Entertainment Industry

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein joined the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) and a bipartisan coalition of 30 states in filing an antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. and Ticketmaster LLC, alleging that the companies have illegally monopolized the live entertainment industry, which has increased prices for live shows.

“Live Nation is using its monopoly power to force North Carolinians to pay more than they should for tickets to live events,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Tickets to shows are already expensive enough. I will not allow any company to use its monopoly power to charge people even more. That’s why I am bringing today’s action.”

In the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the USDOJ and states allege that Live Nation has:

  • Harmed fans through higher fees and by limiting 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 was competitive.
  • Maintained its monopoly in ticketing markets by locking up venues through restrictive long-term, exclusive agreements and threats that venues would 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:

  • Prohibiting Live Nation from engaging in its anticompetitive practices.
  • Ordering Live Nation to divest Ticketmaster.

Attorney General Stein launched his investigation into Ticketmaster in November 2022. A copy of the complaint is available here.

In joining the DOJ’s complaint, Attorney General Stein 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, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.