U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, issued a statement over the weekend following reports that the Justice Department would seek legal action against Live Nation Entertainment for its anti-competitive practices.
The Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger was approved in 2010 on conditions of a consent decree. However, the merged companies are trying to dominate the ticketing industry with no-transfer rules, scalping their own tickets, and tacking on expensive fees, interfering with the state of competition. Klobuchar and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) urged the department to investigate the competition in the ticketing marketplace, citing that the ticketing giant was ignoring the 2010 consent degree.
The following statement was released in a press release from Klobuchar’s office:
“Americans purchase millions of tickets each year and shouldn’t be forced to pay sky-high prices because of corporate greed in a broken ticketing industry,” Klobuchar said in the statement. “As I have expressed time and again, the online ticket markets don’t work for American consumers. Lack of competition due to excessive consolidation has led to inadequate disclosures and inflated fees when people go to purchase tickets to live events.
“Live Nation’s dominance in the sector raises serious antitrust concerns. I’m glad that the Department of Justice is preparing to take action to ensure compliance with the Ticketmaster/Live Nation consent decree following my requests to look into potential anti-competitive behavior in the ticketing industry.”
Klobuchar called for strong antitrust review and enforcement to protect consumers from mergers that either raise prices or harm competition. Previously, she’s called-out the scrutinized pharmaceutical mergers and has introduced the Monopolization Deterrence Act, the Consolidation Prevention and Competition Act, and the Merger Enforcement Improvement Act.
Picture credits: Gage Skidmore via Flickr