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Attorney General Ashley Moody

Florida Attorney General Sues Live Nation / Ticketmaster for Monopolizing Ticket Industry

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Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is going after the largest ticket vendor in the world on behalf of the Sunshine State. Below is an official statement from Moody regarding the state’s lawsuit versus Ticketmaster LLC and its parent company, Live Nation, due to their monopoly on the ticket market.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody is taking legal action to break up a monopoly in the live music industry. Attorney General Moody, along with the U.S. Department of Justice and 29 other state and district attorneys general, filed a civil antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ticketmaster LLC, for monopolization and other unlawful conduct that thwarts competition. The action seeks to restore competition in the live concert industry, provide better choices at lower prices for fans, and open venue doors for working musicians and other performance artists. 

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Live Nation’s monopoly on the music industry harms fans through higher fees and hurts artists and venues through lack of options. They leverage their extensive network of venues to force artists to select Live Nation as a promoter instead of alternatives. We are fighting to end these monopolistic practices and bring relief to Florida and fans who paid more than they would have in a competitive market for tickets.”  

The complaint, filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that Live Nation unlawfully exercises its monopoly power in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, and unlawfully enters long-term exclusive ticketing deals with venues that prevent them from doing business with competitors, in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. As a result of its conduct, music fans in the U.S. are deprived of ticketing innovation and forced to use outdated technology while paying more for tickets than fans in other countries. At the same time, Live Nation exercises its power over performers, venues and independent promoters in ways that harm competition. Live Nation also imposes barriers to competition that limit the entry and expansion of its rivals.

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According to the complaint, Live Nation unlawfully maintains monopolies in concert promotions and primary ticketing markets, and engages in other exclusionary conduct affecting live concert venues, including arenas and amphitheaters. The complaint further alleges that Live Nation’s exclusionary practices fortify and protect what it refers to as its “flywheel.” The flywheel is Live Nation’s self-reinforcing business model that captures fees and revenue from concert fans and sponsorships, uses that revenue to lock up artists to exclusive promotion deals, and then uses its powerful cache of live content to sign venues into long-term exclusive ticketing deals, thereby starting the cycle all over again. Live Nation’s anticompetitive conduct creates even more barriers for rivals to compete on the merits. 

The attorneys general of the following states and districts joined Attorney General Moody and DOJ in filing the lawsuit: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

To view the complaint, click here.

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