Written by 19:27 Business

The Emails at the Heart of the Government’s Ticketmaster Case

In its lawsuit accusing Live Nation Entertainment, the concert behemoth that owns Ticketmaster, of being an illegal monopoly, the Justice Department drew on a raft of internal communications that offered a rare behind-the-scenes look at the industry.

The Justice Department argued in an extensive complaint filed on Thursday that the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster, which went through in 2010, had hurt competition, hindered innovation and resulted in higher ticket prices and fees for consumers. It called for the company to be broken up.

In response, Live Nation, which is also the world’s largest concert promoter, has said that it is not a monopoly, and denied that it has the unilateral power to raise prices. Contrary to the government’s argument about its great power, Live Nation says it now faces more competition than ever, and that the Justice Department’s suit “won’t reduce ticket prices or service fees.”

Detailing its allegations, the government relied on eye-opening emails that it says were written by Live Nation’s chief executive, Michael Rapino, and other high-powered figures in the concert world.

Here are a few of those accusations.

One episode from 2021 goes to the heart of the Justice Department’s allegations that Live Nation went to extreme lengths to protect its competitive edge.

Late that year, the government says, Live Nation “threatened commercial retaliation” against the private equity firm Silver Lake, which had an investment in TEG, an Australian ticketing and promotions company that was involved in a highly anticipated benefit show by Kanye West and Drake at the L.A. Coliseum. Silver Lake had also invested in Oak View Group, a venue management company with close ties to Live Nation.


Last modified: 26 May 2024