Report: DOJ May File Antitrust Suit Against Live Nation

Live Nation may face an antitrust suit from the Department of Justice by year’s end, Politico reported Friday,

According to the report, “three people with knowledge of the matter” told Politico the feds are mulling charges, but that nothing is final, especially given that the antitrust division is undertaking numerous investigations. While there’s little certainty the suit will come to fruition, it could potentially lead to the break-up of Live Nation and its various divisions.

Ticketmaster and Live Nation have been under a consent decree since the 2010 merger and are often the focus of intense scrutiny and criticism, brought into especially sharp focus with the shambolic on-sale for Taylor Swift’s “Eras” tour.

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According to Politico‘s sources, however, the investigation that’s prompted the potential suit began last summer, prior to the Swift debacle.

Ticketmaster blamed the Swift failure on cyberattacks and routinely denies it is in violation of antitrust laws. The company sent CFO Joe Berchtold to face a Senate committee grilling earlier this year.

Wall Street took notice of the news. After a strong opening coming off yesterday’s near-record earnings report — opening nearly $2 ahead of Thursday’s close — LYV dropped from $99.78 at 3 p.m. Eastern to $84.75 just 45 minutes later. LYV closed down $7.60 at $89.33.

Pollstar reached out to Live Nation for comment.