Although the Department Of Justice allowed Live Nation and Ticketmaster's merge at the time, new reports from The New York Times are saying the Department Of Justice is now “reviewing complaints that Live Nation, which manages 500 artists, including U2 and Miley Cyrus, has used its control over concert tours to pressure venues into contracting with its subsidiary, Ticketmaster.”
Read more: Live Nation one of the top LGBTQ+ employers
As The New York Times reports, Ticketmaster tickets 80 of the top 100 arenas in the country. People warned of the trouble that their merger could cause, “crippling competitors in the ticketing business.” Yet they still joined forces.
“The Consent Decree was supposed to prevent Live Nation from using its strength in live entertainment to foreclose competition in ticketing,” Beau Buffier, the chief of the New York Attorney General’s Antitrust Bureau, told The New York Times.
“But it is now widely seen as the poster child for the problems that arise when enforcers adopt these temporary fixes to limit the anticompetitive effects of deeply problematic vertical mergers.”
The Times explains that because of the merger, “competition in ticketing at the major venues is effectively blocked.”
However, Ticketmaster President Jared Smith shared a statement, defending Ticketmaster and its practices:
The New York Times article suggests that any benefits of being a vertically integrated company are, in and of themselves, anticompetitive. They insinuate that we “condition” content. That we “retaliate” when Ticketmaster is not selected as a venue’s ticketing partner. In short, they say we have stifled competition.
The reality is that none of these things are true. It is absolutely against Live Nation and Ticketmaster policy to threaten venues that they won’t get any Live Nation shows if they don’t use Ticketmaster. We also do not re-route content as retaliation for a lost ticketing deal. Live Nation is the most artist-focused company in the world, and misusing our relationship with artists to “settle scores” with venues would be both bad business and counter to our core beliefs.