Attorney General Morrisey, Bipartisan Coalition Join USDOJ Antitrust Lawsuit Against Live Nation

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, along with a bipartisan coalition of 29 states and the District of Columbia, joined a lawsuit spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Justice against Live Nation Entertainment—owner of Ticketmaster—for alleged antitrust violations.

The suit alleges the company monopolized significant markets of the entertainment industry, thereby stifling competition. The merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster in 2010 created a behemoth organization in the live event ticketing market, controlling more than 80% of primary ticket sales in the U.S. The investigation involving Live Nation began in 2022—gaining momentum shortly after Ticketmaster crashed during a presale of tickets to Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour.

“Competition is the driving force in a free market economy, and those who resort to improper means will be held accountable to the full extent of the law,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Companies should not resort to sinister schemes to control the market, all the while hurting consumers. Such predatory practices inflate prices and come at a tremendous cost.”

“The more choices consumers have the better for them to make informed decisions on which company to use.”

In the lawsuit, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for Southern District of New York, the DOJ and states allege that: 

  • Harmed fans through higher fees and limited the amount of information fans have regarding the ultimate cost to see a show. Fans’ ticketing experience—from buying a ticket to showtime—is also worse than it would be if the industry was competitive.
  • Maintained its monopoly in ticketing markets by locking up venues through restrictive long-term, exclusive agreements and threats that venues will lose access to Live Nation-controlled tours and artists if they sign with a rival ticketer.
  • Leveraged its extensive network of venues to force artists to select Live Nation as a promoter instead of its rivals, maintaining its promotions monopoly.  

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

  • Securing financial compensation for fans who were overcharged by Live Nation, leading them to pay more than they would have in a competitive market for tickets.
  • Prohibiting Live Nation from engaging in its anticompetitive practices.
  • Ordering Live Nation to divest Ticketmaster.

 Read a copy of the lawsuit here