The Taylor Swift cyclone has consequences that go beyond the stage. The US Department of Justice, with the collaboration of several states, plans to file a lawsuit against Live Nation this Thursday. In this document, according to various media outlets, it is considered that the entertainment giant has used its ticket sales monopoly, with its Ticketmaster unit, to nullify competition.

If successful, the complaint seeks to bring about substantial changes in the company’s practices, including asking the judge to effectively undo the 2010 merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster. This would lead to a radical transformation in the live events market, with a global impact given its global implementation.

Control of the ticket market is almost absolute since that union of interests, but the industry suffered significant scrutiny and growing contempt after, in November 2022, a chain of failures in Ticketmaster blocked millions of people who could not buy tickets for Taylor Swift’s ‘Eras’ tour.

For many critics of Live Nation, the debacle with the world’s most famous artist revealed that the lack of competition has caused damage ranging from poor customer service to confusing pricing, expensive ticketing fees and restrictions on ticket sales.

Among the practices the department plans to challenge are the exclusive ticketing contracts Ticketmaster has with many of the venues where high-profile performers perform. These contracts typically span three to five years, and Ticketmaster often offers lucrative financial advances that entice organizers to sign long-term deals.

In an article posted by the company on its website earlier this year, Dan Wall, Live Nation’s head of corporate affairs, defended the company against accusations that it exercised a monopoly. He maintained that Ticketmaster does not set the prices, but rather the artists and their teams, and that the company is subject to high demand and low supply, while the majority of fees go to the organizers.

The Switf fiasco led to Live Nation’s officials having to appear before the United States Congress last year, where they were grilled about the company’s practices. And there is also the origin of the Department of Justice initiative.

But this company is not only under the spotlight of fans and legislators and the United States government. Numerous artists and pop culture figures have also repeatedly voiced their complaints and have even released albums expressing their displeasure.

Live Nation, US authorities maintain, exercises commercial advantages that most of its competitors lack. It has at least 50% of the market share in concert promotion, while Ticketmaster controls more than 80% of the primary ticket business at major US venues. 

A government blessing in 2010 allowed Live Nation to acquire Ticketmaster, creating an entertainment giant that now promotes concerts, manages artists, owns or operates performance venues, and sells and resells tickets for concerts, sports, and entertainment. other events with large audiences.

The company sold, based on its estimate, some 620 million tickets globally last year, making it the largest live entertainment company in the world.