Attorney General James Sues Live Nation and Ticketmaster for Monopolizing Live Events and Overcharging Consumers

Lawsuit with DOJ and 30 AGs Claims Live Nation and Ticketmaster Abuse Market Power to Overcharge Consumers, Limit Artists, Bully Venues, and Exclude Competition

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and a bipartisan coalition of 30 attorneys general today sued Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. (Live Nation) and its subsidiary Ticketmaster for monopolizing the live events industry and harming consumers, artists, venues, and competitors. The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York, alleges that Live Nation controls almost every aspect of live events from promotions to venues and ticket sales, and abuses its market dominance to overcharge consumers, limit artists’ ability to perform at different venues, and restrict venues not owned by Live Nation from working with other ticketing vendors. Attorney General James, DOJ, and the bipartisan multistate coalition seek to end Live Nation’s abusive and anticompetitive conduct to protect fans, artists, and venues and to require the companies to pay for their wrongdoing.


“For too long, Live Nation and Ticketmaster have unfairly and illegally run the world of live events, abusing their dominance to overcharge fans, bully venues, and limit artists,” said Attorney General James. “When companies like Live Nation control every aspect of an event, it leads to bad blood – concertgoers and sports fans suffer and are forced to pay cruel prices. Everybody agrees, Live Nation and Ticketmaster are the problem, and it’s time for a new era. Today, we are taking this important action to protect consumers and force big companies to stop abusing their influence and get in formation.


Live Nation is a live entertainment company that owns, operates, or has exclusive booking rights for hundreds of venues nationwide, including New York’s Madison Square Garden, Radio City Hall, Barclays Center, and other venues across the state. Live Nation controls many aspects of sports events and live performances, from producing and promoting events to renting venues they own and selling tickets through its subsidiary, Ticketmaster, which accounts for nearly 80 percent of the ticketing industry. Due to Live Nation’s wide-ranging control of various aspects of the live events industry, competitors have been forced out, leaving consumers, venues, and artists with limited options and forcing them to endure high costs.


The lawsuit alleges that Live Nation forces venues to sign long-term exclusive ticketing contracts with its subsidiary Ticketmaster or risk losing lucrative Live Nation concerts. Over the years Live Nation has increased its fees when working with venues, which then can be passed on to consumers. By bullying venues into exclusive long-term contracts with its subsidiaries and acquiring competitors, Live Nation’s anticompetitive conduct has raised costs and difficulties for fans and placed unfair burdens onto artists, venues, and other competitors.


Attorney General James, DOJ, and the bipartisan multistate coalition argue that due to Live Nation anticompetitive conduct:

  • Fans have paid more fees that are not transparent, have limited options when purchasing tickets, and have fewer concert choices;
  • Artists have had fewer opportunities to play concerts, and fewer choices for promoting their concerts and selling tickets to their own shows; and
  • Venues have less options for obtaining concerts and ticketing services, which forces them to continue using Live Nation and Ticketmaster and pass the higher costs onto consumers. fewer real choices for obtaining concerts and ticketing services. 

Attorney General James, DOJ, and the bipartisan multistate coalition are seeking disgorgement and civil penalties from the companies and to stop their anticompetitive conduct that is harming consumers, artists, and venues.


Joining Attorney General James and DOJ in today’s lawsuit are attorneys general of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia.


For New York, this matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Jeremy Kasha, Deputy Bureau Chief Amy McFarlane, Bureau Chief Elinor Hoffmann, and Legal Assistant Chelle Velez, all of the Antitrust Bureau. The Antitrust Bureau is a part of the Division of Economic Justice, which is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General Chris D’Angelo and overseen by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.