DOJ Offers New Details Of Alleged Live Nation Violations Of Consent Decree
The U.S. Department of Justice has provided new details of theor claim that Live Nation attempted to encourage concert venues to use their Ticketmaster service in violation of a 2010 consent decree.
The allegations were part of a legal filing submitted in a federal district court in Washington on Thursday, reported the Wall Street Journal.
The consent decree was part of an agreement Live Nation reached with anti-trust regulators to pave the way for their 2010 acquisition of Ticketmaster in an effort to address concerns about the effects of the acquisition on competition in the live entertainment market.
The consent decree imposes restrictions on how closely Live Nation’s concert promotion business and their ticketing segment can coordinate.
The filing details six instances in which the government alleges that Live Nation threatened to stop booking shows at venues if they retained the services of a competitor of Ticketmaster.
They allegedly begain in 2010, shortly after the consent decree was granted, to the most recent incident which occurred last March.
In one instance, the government alleges that Live Nation’s president of arenas threatened to withhold concerts from a venue that failed to use Ticketmaster and claimed that Live Nation shows at the unnamed venue fell by almost 50% between 2011 and 2015. The filing did not name the executive but the WSJ noted that Michael Evans has held that title since 2010.
The filing also did not identify the venues involved in the alleged violations in order to protect them from further retaliation, the WSJ reported.
It is unclear what impact the filing will have. Last month, Live Nation reached a deal with the Justice Department to resolve anti-trust concerns and extend the consent decree through 2025.
In a statement on Thursday, a spokesperson for Live Nation said: “Live Nation settled this matter to make clear that it has no interest in threatening or retaliating against venues that consider or choose other ticketing companies. We strongly disagree with the DOJ’s allegations in the filing and the conclusions they seek to draw from six isolated episodes among some 5,000 ticketing deals negotiated during the life of the consent decree.”