Concertgoers Sue Live Nation Alongside Government, Alleging Ticket Monopoly

livenation ticketmaster monopoly

Fans Claim Company's Dominance Inflates Prices, Reducing Artist Choice

Live Nation faces a double threat to its ticketing dominance. A new class action lawsuit by concertgoers joins the government's antitrust case, both accusing the company and its subsidiary Ticketmaster of stifling competition and driving up ticket prices.

Concertgoers Allege Monopolistic Practices

The class action, filed by Abraham Leifer in New York, targets Live Nation's alleged monopoly since acquiring Ticketmaster in 2010. Leifer argues this dominance has inflated prices, not just for primary tickets sold through Ticketmaster, but also for secondary market resales due to limited competition and high fees. He calls the combined entity a "juggernaut trust" forcing fans to pay excessive prices.

Leifer's lawsuit highlights Live Nation's control over various aspects of the live music industry:

  • Concert Promotion: Live Nation acts as the promoter for a majority of major venues in the US.

  • Ticketing Services: The company controls both primary ticketing through Ticketmaster and exerts influence on secondary markets.

The Live Nation antitrust lawsuit argues that “this exclusive, anti-competitive and unlawful tying eliminates significant competition, as it boxes all other primary ticketing agents out from servicing any concerts or events where Live Nation is the promoter.”

Government Lawsuit Mirrors Consumer Complaints

Leifer’s lawsuit came the same day the Department of Justice filed a sweeping antitrust suit against Live Nation, accusing the company and its subsidiaries of using methods to “eliminate competition and monopolize markets.”

The DOJ has been joined by 29 states and Washington DC in the lawsuit that accuses Live Nation of forcing venues into long-term, exclusive, ticketing contracts, amongst other anti-competitive practices.

Promises Broken, Competition Stifled

When Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged in 2010, the leaders of both companies promised the DOJ they wouldn’t hit back at venues that chose to work with other ticket sellers, and said they would ensure ticketing competition was preserved, AP News reported. However, despite promises to avoid monopolistic methods, DOJ has accused the company of using just those since at least 2019

In its recent lawsuit, the government accuses Live Nation of creating a monopoly through its long-term ticket contracts and restrictions on venues working with multiple ticketers, amongst other things. Attorney General Merrick Garland said the actions resulted in fans paying more to attend concerts, and artists having fewer options of where to play, and as such, the government is trying to break up the company.

Live Nation Blames Others for Price Increases

In a statement, Live Nation said it was “absurd to claim” that it, along with Ticketmaster, was a monopoly, arguing “there is more competition than ever in the live events market.” 

The lawsuit, the company argues, “ignores everything that is actually responsible for higher ticket prices, from rising production costs, to artist popularity, to 24/7 online ticket scalping that reveals the public’s willingness to pay far more than primary ticket prices.”

The company also criticizes resale sites, arguing last year that the majority of the sites’ business is professional resellers and that “both artists and consumers are cheated” by the high resale prices on secondary sites.

Leifer's lawsuit accuses Live Nation of violating antitrust laws and seeks to represent concertgoers nationwide who purchased tickets through resale sites after the original sale on Ticketmaster. He seeks:

  • Class certification to represent a broader group of consumers.
  • Injunctive relief to stop the alleged anti-competitive practices.
  • Damages and potential refunds for concertgoers.
  • Legal fees and costs.

Case Details

  • Lawsuit: Leifer v. Live Nation Entertainment Inc.
  • Case Number: 1:24-cv-03994
  • Court: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Plaintiffs' Attorneys

  • Israel David LLC



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