LN Prevails In Ticketing Suit

A Chicago federal judge dismissed a putative class action suit accusing Live Nation Entertainment of being a “monopolist” and seeking to force the company to adopt an “all-in” pricing model on all ticket sales.

Brendon Holub, an Arizona native residing in Chicago, failed to show he was harmed, in order to establish standing, by the company’s practice of adding fees onto ticket face prices.

Holub purchased tickets to two shows in Chicago and one in Phoenix, all of which included various add-ons such as parking, shipping and handling.

He filed his complaint in March, alleging Live Nation violated the Sherman Act and California’s Unfair Competition Law, and sought class action status in addition to actual and treble damages, injunctive relief and attorney’s fees.

U.S. District Judge Charles Kocoras tossed the suit, ruling Holub’s complaint about being assessed “add-on” fees didn’t hold up since the total retail price – whether all-in or add-on – would be the same.

“The court is perplexed as to how Holub can claim a loss of money or property based on the facts that he has set forth, which show that the overall price that Holub paid would have been the same,” Kocoras wrote in his memorandum opinion.

The question of “monopolism” went unanswered, as the judge considered it irrelevant to the suit.

“Holub’s claim that Live Nation is a monopolist is unrelated to his objection to the way in which Live Nation presents its ticket prices,” Kocoras wrote. “Holub has not shown how a lack of competition in the ticket selling market bears upon the manner in which prices are presented to consumers, and the court cannot logically discern one.”