Live Nation Reaches DoJ Deal, Stock Jumps 10%
Live Nation has reached a deal with the United States Department of Justice to extend the consent decree that paved the way for their 2010 acquisition of Ticketmaster.
Live Nation stock, which had been trading in the low sixties since late last week when news of the inquiry broke, rebounded strongly Thursday, ending the day at $69.83, up almost 10%.
In a statement Live Nation said:
“We have reached an agreement in principle with the Department of Justice to extend and clarify the consent decree. We believe this is the best outcome for our business, clients, and shareholders as we turn our focus to 2020 initiatives.”
The statement did not elaborate on the nature of the agreement or the terms of the extension.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Live Nation had come under scrutiny from federal regulators over concerns that the company’s business practices may be contrary to the terms of the consent decree. Live Nation and Ticketmaster have been the subject of criticism over ticketing fees and practices, particularly in the secondary market, as well as concerns over the company’s market dominance in the North American concert industry.
The settlement does not include a monetary penalty and sources with knowledge of the matter told Billboard that a majority of the clarifications between Live Nation and assistant attorney general Makan Delrahim over five allegedly problematic contracts he identified.
The 2010 consent decree was expected to expire next year, but according to CNBC, it will now extend for another five years and will include some “clarifications” including a reaffirmation that Live Nation will not retaliate against venues that opt not to use Ticketmaster for ticketing services.