Live Nation and Ticketmaster have received their fair share of scrutiny, especially in 2019; back in July, a Billboard report surfaced which confirmed that Live Nation, who merged with ticket-giant Ticketmaster, had been purposefully transferring thousands of tickets to resellers – who then mark up prices for added profit.
Despite the practice not being considered illegal, with Live Nation claiming “about a dozen artists out of the thousands we work with asked us to do this” – this caused a stir as they had kept the information under wraps, bringing an aura of distrust and concerns of greed to all music fans.
Now, following an antitrust investigation of Live Nation and Ticketmaster – the Department of Justice has issued an agreement between the two companies, after it has been revealed that their business practices have repeatedly violated a 2010 consent decree signed during the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster.
In the decree, the company agreed to refrain from unethical practices such as Live Nation withholding valuable events from venues unless they sign with Ticketmaster – which unfortunately, as the Department of Justice has discovered, is exactly what occurred. A report by Billboard states that five violations of the decree have been uncovered.
The deal reached between the DOJ and the two companies require an extension of the original regulatory agreement signed in 2010. The original agreement was set to expire in July 2020, but the agreement proposes an extension to 2025. Live Nation will also be fined $1 million for each violation, and are responsible for reimbursing government costs that incurred due to enforcing the regulations.
On their website, Live Nation released the statement:
“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.”