Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, alongside a bipartisan coalition of nearly 30 states and the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), filed a civil antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ticketmaster LLC (Live Nation-Ticketmaster), for monopolization and other unlawful conduct that thwarts competition in markets across the live entertainment industry. The lawsuit, which includes a request for structural relief, seeks to restore competition in the live concert industry, provide better choices at lower prices for fans, and open venue doors for working musicians and other performance artists. 

In 2010, two major ticketing and entertainment companies, Ticketmaster and Live Nation, merged to form a conglomerate called Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. Since then, the organization has dominated the advertising, ticket sales, and concert production market, becoming the self-declared “largest live entertainment company in the world.” 

Live Nation, through Ticketmaster, began demanding exclusive and anticompetitive contracts with venues under threat of punitive economic action. Then, the company leveraged its monopoly on ticket sales and amphitheaters to coerce performers into similarly restrictive promotional contracts. With such a high degree of control over the tickets, the venues, and even artists themselves, the company was able to take advantage of consumers through price hikes, obscure fees, and reduced choice.

Attorney General Paxton and coalition partners are requesting the court to enjoin Live Nation from continuing its anticompetitive practices, require Ticketmaster and Live Nation to separate, and provide restitution to customers negatively affected by the anticompetitive monopoly. 

“Mega-corporations cannot control entire industries to create anti-competitive environments, drive up prices, and take advantage of consumers,” said Attorney General Paxton. “With this lawsuit, we aim to ensure fair competition for ticket sellers, concertgoers, venues, and others in the entertainment space who have been affected by this merger.”

To read the filing, click here.