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Episode description:

John is joined by Kevin Teruya, Partner in Quinn Emanuel’s Los Angeles office and Co-Chair of the firm’s Antitrust & Competition Practice and Adam Wolfson, Partner in Quinn Emanuel’s San Francisco and Los Angeles offices who specializes in antitrust law.  They discuss the recent antitrust case filed by the U.S. Department of Justice against Ticketmaster and Live Nation.  Kevin and Adam explain how Live Nation provides nationwide concert promotion services while its subsidiary Ticketmaster sells concert tickets on both the primary and on the secondary markets and secures multi-year exclusive arrangements with a large percentage of the concert venues in the U.S.  They also explain the companies’ history with the DOJ, including the consent decree entered into in 2010, the conditions and independent monitor imposed in that decree, and the decree’s extension for five more years in 2020.  They then discuss the DOJ’s newly filed case alleging that the companies failed to comply with the decree and also created anti-competitive effects in the market resulting in higher  fees for consumers.  The DOJ alleges that the companies monopolized: (1) the market for primary ticketing services, (2) the market for large amphitheaters, and (3) the concert promotion business.  The DOJ also alleges that the companies engaged in “exclusive dealing” arrangements through long term exclusive contracts with venues, and illegally tied concert promotion services to the use of venues with exclusive contracts with the companies.  Kevin and Adam also explain the defenses Ticketmaster/Live Nation are likely to assert including that the concert promotion business is local, so market power in one location does not flow to others, that venues ask for exclusive arrangements, and that there is sufficient competition whenever these exclusive deals come up for renewal.  They also discuss the likely testimony from industry competitors, venue operators and any performing artists who are willing to risk their income by challenging Ticketmaster/Live Nation.  Finally, they discuss the pending consumer class action case against Ticketmaster/Live Nation that the firm filed before the new DOJ case and the likelihood that the DOJ case will trigger additional piggyback private antitrust cases against the companies.

Published: Jun 7 2024

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