The US Justice Department has opened an inquiry into Ticketmaster’s parent company and will look into whether Live Nation Entertainment has abused its power in the live music industry.
The antitrust investigation comes amidst the recent chaos that ensued after the ticket seller’s site crashed while Taylor Swift fans tried to purchase presale tickets for her 2023 Eras Tour.
This led to the cancellation of Friday’s (18 November) general ticket sales, which Swift has angrily addressed.
However, according to a new report by The New York Times, the investigation predates the latest fiasco.
In recent months, members of the Justice Department’s antitrust division have spoken with music venues and industry workers, under the request of anonymity, about Live Nation’s practices.
The Independent has contacted Live Nation and the Justice Department for comment.
In 2010, the Justice Department approved a merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster, thus creating the giant powerhouse whose power has remained unmatched in the entertainment business.
Before the start of the 2020 pandemic, Live Nation’s annual report showed its previous year of business sold 485 million tickets to its 40,000 events worldwide.
Ahead of the approved merger, the Justice Department reached a 10-year settlement with Live Nation, lasting until 2020, which prohibited the company from threatening to bar venues’ access to their tours if those venues chose to use other ticket providers.
Although, following an investigation in late 2019, the Justice Department found that Live Nation had violated the settlement repeatedly.
The settlement was then extended until 2025, with clarifications made to the agreement regarding what the company was allowed to do when negotiating ticketing deals with venues.
A source, claiming knowledge of the matter, told the outlet that members of the Justice Department have questioned Live Nation on whether or not the company is complying with the agreement.