This week, U.S. House of Representative members Buck, Gaetz, McBath, and Sensenbrenner asked the Department of Justice to look into anti-competitive actions taken by Ticketmaster and Live Nation — and they were right to do so.
Ten years ago, the Department of Justice approved the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation in a 10-year consent decree that expires in 2020. The consent decree was an agreement between DOJ and Ticketmaster-Live Nation where Ticketmaster made certain promises. For example, Ticketmaster can’t “retaliate” against any venue that wants to use a different service. This approved vertical merger allowed the dominant ticketing platform to merge with the largest promoter of concerts.