Biden Admin’s antitrust suit against Live Nation/Ticketmaster gains steam as PA, MD, WV, and 27 more states join in on the dogpile

23 May 2024- Attorney General Anthony G. Brown today joined the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and a bipartisan coalition of 30 states in filing an antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., which owns Ticketmaster, alleging that the company has illegally monopolized the live entertainment industry. 

“When the world’s largest live entertainment company illegally dominates ticket sales, artist management and promotion, and venue choices, fans are the ones who are hurt the most,” said Attorney General Brown. “This unlawful conduct drives up prices, leaves fans with poor customer service, and limits opportunities for people’s access to live entertainment.” 

Live Nation is the exclusive ticketer to nearly all large concert venues in the Maryland, DC, and Virginia region, including the Fillmore in Silver Spring, Pier 6 in Baltimore, Maryland Stadium in College Park, and Maryland Hall in Annapolis. In the lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for Southern District of New York, the DOJ and coalition states allege that Live Nation: 

  • Has maintained its monopoly in ticketing markets through exclusive agreements and threats that venues will lose access to Live Nation-controlled tours and artists if they sign with a rival ticketer;
  • Uses its monopoly power to force artists, who want to perform in large amphitheaters, to select Live Nation as their concert promoter; and 
  • Has harmed fans a number of ways, including charging higher fees and limiting consumer choices.

The lawsuit asks the court to restore competition in the live entertainment industry by: 

  • Prohibiting Live Nation from engaging in unlawful anticompetitive practices; 
  • Ordering Live Nation to divest Ticketmaster—meaning that it will no longer own Ticketmaster; and 
  • Securing redress for all victims, including Marylanders, harmed by Live Nation’s anticompetitive scheme.

In joining the DOJ’s complaint, Attorney General Brown is joined by the attorneys general of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, 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.