Leadership / 12.19.19
Why the DOJ Is Investigating Live Nation: The Potential Acquisition of a 'Rival'
Billboard (12/16/19) Brooks, Dave
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is probing whether Ticketmaster parent Live Nation should be allowed to buy competing ticketing company Rival, and assume the startup's ticketing contract with billionaire Stan Kroenke. Lawyers with the assistant attorney general for the DOJ's antitrust division cautioned that the sale might be blocked. Kroenke owns the U.K. soccer team Arsenal and four professional U.S. teams, including the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Rams. He also is a Rival shareholder, and DOJ officials are closely examining the deal as part of a larger investigation of Live Nation. DOJ attorneys warned the company that they might litigate for violating its 2010 consent decree against retaliatory action, in view of complaints about Ticketmaster's attempts to extend control over the secondary ticket market. Ticketmaster has been providing ticketing services for Kroenke's venues since late July, when Kroenke's contract with AEG's ticketing arm AXS ran out; since Rival's ticketing solution to replace AXS' was not ready in time for its Aug. 1 takeover, Ticketmaster intervened to temporarily provide ticketing services. However, the DOJ is looking into charges that Live Nation threatened to withhold concerts and tours from Kroenke's venues unless Ticketmaster was granted the ticketing contract.
Read the full story from Billboard.
Tags: Ticketmaster , Regulations , News