Live Nation has responded to the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit against the company, which alleges that they are operating as a monopoly with Ticketmaster.

Last night (May 22), it was reported that the DOJ was planning to take legal action against Live Nation and Ticketmaster. Today, U.S. attorney general Merrick Garland confirmed the report in a statement.

DOJ Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Live Nation + Ticketmaster

“We allege that Live Nation relies on unlawful, anticompetitive conduct to exercise its monopolistic control over the live events industry in the United States at the cost of fans, artists, smaller promoters, and venue operators,” Garland asserted.

“The result is that fans pay more in fees, artists have fewer opportunities to play concerts, smaller promoters get squeezed out and venues have fewer real choices for ticketing services. It is time to break up Live Nation-Ticketmaster.”

See a video of the press conference below.

Attorney General Merrick Garland Announces Antitrust Lawsuit Against Live Nation + Ticketmaster

Live Nation Responds to Antitrust Lawsuit

Dan Wall, Executive Vice President, Corporate and Regulatory Affairs of Live Nation, wrote a response to the “highly-anticipated antitrust suit” on the company’s website.

“The complaint — and even more so the press conference announcing it — attempt to portray Live Nation and Ticketmaster as the cause of fan frustration with the live entertainment industry,” the statement reads.

“It blames concert promoters and ticketing companies — neither of which control ticket prices — for high ticket prices. It ignores everything that is actually responsible for higher ticket prices, from increasing production costs to artist popularity, to 24/7 online ticket scalping that reveals the public’s willingness to pay far more than primary tickets cost.”

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The statement further adds that Ticketmaster only keeps a “modest portion” of ticket service fees and provides a graph showing the commission rates that various digital marketplaces receive, including Ticketmaster.

Live Nation Denies Operating As a Monopoly

Wall called it “absurd” to claim that Live Nation and Ticketmaster operate as a monopoly, citing that they supposedly have a low profit margin compared to other S&P 500 companies.

“Every year, competition in the industry drives Live Nation to earn lower take rates from both concert promotion and ticketing. The company is profitable and growing because it helps grow the industry, not because it has market power,” the statement continues.

READ MORE: Live Nation Nearly Tripled Revenue From 2021 to 2022 as Ticket Prices Soared

“The Obama Administration saw it differently. It allowed Live Nation and Ticketmaster to merge, and in defending that position acknowledged that there was no legal basis for challenging the vertical aspects of the merger — specifically, allowing a large concert promoter to combine with a large ticketing company.”

Wall concluded that the “world is a better place because of that merger, not a worse one.”

See Wall’s entire statement here.

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