New information from Department of Justice sources indicates that the US government is preparing legal action against Live Nation for violation of the Live Nation merger agreement and Ticketmaster which started in 2010 with the Government were reached.
The agreement, known as a consent form, essentially prohibited Live Nation from forcing venues wishing to book the tour operator's tours to use Ticketmaster for these shows, and to avenge venues using a ticketing competitor instead. The fact that Ticketmaster now controls 80% of the market and ticket prices have increased an average of 50% since 2009 – to $ 92.42 – for the top 100 tours worldwide attracted the attention of DC representatives in Washington.
Deputy Attorney General Makan Delrahim, the anti-trust director of the Department of Justice, confirmed during a hearing in September that the Ministry was investigating allegations that Live Nation had violated the decree.
Writes The Wall Street Journal,
In August, Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) And Amy Klobuchar (D., Min.) Asked the DOJ to examine the state of the competition in ticketing, and in the process approach the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster focus.
Last week, four House legislators sent a letter to the department expressing concern about the merger]
Signed by Ken Buck (R., Colo.), Matt Gaetz (R., Fla.), Lucy McBath (D., Ga.) And James Sensenbrenner (R., Wis.).
At a conference in mid-September, Michael Rapino, chief executive of Live Nation, was confident that his company had not pursued antitrust practices. “We are not afraid of systematic problems. We are very compliant, "he said.
Although many companies have emerged to challenge Ticketmaster over the past decade, including the AEG-powered AXS built on Ticketmaster's own IP (as part of the 2009 comparison), none has been able to establish itself as a serious competitor.