Live Nation’s shares have endured a bit of a buffeting after reports that the company is facing an investigation from the US Department of Justice. The central issue, according to the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times, is whether Live Nation has kept to conditions imposed on its business in 2010, as part of the clearance of its merger with Ticketmaster. Specifically, Live Nation was barred from retaliating against venues that decided to work with ticketing companies other than Ticketmaster.
The question that has been raised by competitors, every so often, is whether Live Nation is violating that condition or not. The reports suggest that the settlement, which is due to expire in 2020, could now be extended.
Live Nation has always argued that it is compliant. “We do not force anyone into ticketing agreements by leveraging content, and we do not retaliate against venues that choose other ticketing providers,” was its most recent statement on the issue.
In separate ticketing news, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is launching an inquiry into the proposed acquisition of StubHub by Viagogo. Comments are being invited by 10 January.