Controversy continues to swirl around Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation, in the wake of the CBC/Toronto Star expose of how the company is allegedly too cozy with ticket resellers.
US congressman for New Jersey Bill Pascrell–an opponent of the Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger back in 2010–wrote a little to Attorney General Jeff Sessions about an investigation into the company. Here are excerpts from that letter via CompleteMusicUpdate.
I commend the Department Of Justice for opening an investigation into Live Nation’s anticompetitive behaviour and write to bring to your attention new investigative reporting and further lines of inquiry. The Canadian Broadcasting Channel conducted a new investigation that reveals the ways in which Ticketmaster appears to collude with ticket scalpers to sell higher volumes of tickets on its platform – distorting the marketplace and harming consumers in the process,
We respectfully request more information regarding the Department’s investigation into Live Nation. Specifically, are you investigating potential violations to the 2010 consent agreement, as mentioned above? If the consent decree has been violated, is the DOJ prepared to take further action?
Lastly, are you investigating additional monopolistic abuses resulting in higher prices and anticompetitive market distortions, like ticket holdbacks that drive up prices and colluding with scalpers to collect higher fees from consumers?
The concentrated market power of Ticketmaster has made it a behemoth with little incentive to protect consumers in the live event industry. DOJ can, and should, thoroughly investigate and take strong steps to address any and all consent decree violations and anticompetitive practices of Ticketmaster/Live Nation. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Meanwhile, Live Nation’s stock has wobbled a little bit since the story broke. It’s down about 9% but still 23% higher than where it was at this point last year.