DOJ Court Filing Outlines Consent Decree Violations Alleged Against Live Nation

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The U.S. Department of Justice submitted a court filing January 8 detailing what it says are instances of violations of the 2010 consent agreement that allowed the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster to go forward.

The agreement, set to expire this year but extended more than five additional years in a new agreement reached last month, barred Live Nation from forcing venues booking the promoter’s tours to use Ticketmaster services, among other things. The filing is part of the process amending the consent decree as previously agreed.

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The Wall Street Journal reports that DOJ detailed instances in which six unnamed venues alleged they were told that “retaining the services of a Ticketmaster competitor would lead the concert promotion giant to stop booking acts at those venues.” Some accused Live Nation of retaliating against them for opting to use a competing ticket service, the paper reports.

In the filings, Live Nation president of arenas Michael Evans is alleged to have threatened to divert concerts away from one unidentified venue if it didn’t retain Ticketmaster, according to the WSJ, which further reports that Live Nation shows at the venue fell almost 50% between 2011 and 2015.

The six incidents were reported over the course of the last decade, with most recent alleged violation occurring last March.

Live Nation issued a statement to Pollstar: “Live Nation settled this matter to make clear that it has no interest in threatening or retaliating against venues that consider or choose other ticketing companies. We strongly disagree with the DOJ’s allegations in the filing and the conclusions they seek to draw from six isolated episodes among some 5,000 ticketing deals negotiated during the life of the consent decree.”