The DOJ has reached out to venues and “players in the ticket market” in recent months to ask about the company’s practices, according to the NYT, meaning the probe predates this week’s debacle. DOJ spokesperson Arlen Morales declined to comment.
Live Nation issued a response to antitrust concerns in a post on its website and argues that its practices aren’t anticompetitive. “The Department of Justice itself recognized the competitive nature of the concert promotion business at the time of the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger,” the post reads. “That dynamic has not changed.”
Many government officials have Live Nation and Ticketmaster in their sights as well. The attorneys general of North Carolina and Tennessee are each investigating Ticketmaster. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), the chair of the Senate subcommittee on competition policy, antitrust, and consumer rights, wrote a letter to Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino (pdf) on Wednesday expressing “serious concerns” about competition in the ticketing industry. And Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted Tuesday that “Ticketmaster is a monopoly” and called for it and Live Nation to be broken up.
Update, November 19th 11:58AM ET: Updated to add a response from Ticketmaster on its website.