Antitrust Institute Plans D.C. Talk on Ticketing “Competition Issues” Antitrust Institute Plans D.C. Talk on Ticketing “Competition Issues”
The American Antitrust Institute has announced plans for an October event where experts will explore the modern ticketing ecosystem, and propose solutions to some... Antitrust Institute Plans D.C. Talk on Ticketing “Competition Issues”

The American Antitrust Institute has announced plans for an October event where experts will explore the modern ticketing ecosystem, and propose solutions to some of the major consumer problems it contains. The in-person roundtable will feature remarks from U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and a panel discussion before closing remarks from AAI President Diana L. Moss.

“Despite decades of fines, consent decrees, and attention from policymakers, competition issues continue to vex U.S. ticketing markets,” reads the event overview on the AAI website. “Ticketmaster’s deeply entrenched monopoly in the primary ticketing market persists, despite a consent decree in place since the 2010 merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation. In the interim, Ticketmaster has extended its presence to the secondary ticketing market.”

Titled “Breaking the Monopoly in Ticketing – Policies for Restoring Competition and Protecting Consumers,” the AAI competition roundtable is scheduled for October 20, 2022 at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.

AAI has been a strong critic of the Live Nation business model at the center of modern live events in the United States and beyond. Moss wrote a letter to the Department of Justice in 2020 slamming its missed opportunity at meaningful enforcement of substantial breaches it found in Live Nation’s consent decree dating back to its Ticketmaster merger in 2010. Moss argued that “a far stronger enforcement response” was needed in the wake of serious anti-competitive behavior in direct violation of that consent decree, rather than a simple extension of the decree. More recently, Moss was a guest on NPR’s 1A program that took a look at the long line of allegations that Ticketmaster and Live Nation operate as a monopoly earlier this month.

Following Sen. Klobuchar’s remarks, the panel will feature SeatGeek co-founder Russell D’Souza and Sports Fan Coalition Executive Director Brian Hess, with New York State Office of the Attorney General Special Litigation Counsel Jay L. Himes also invited as of Thursday afternoon. The discussion is scheduled to last for an hour, and will cover a wide range of topics important to consumers in the United States relative to the industry.

The expert panel discussion will gather competition experts with diverse perspectives to examine a number of key questions. Can anything short of structural relief revive competition in ticketing? What market conditions and practices have facilitated Ticketmaster’s such complete dominance? What would it mean to break up a merger a dozen years post-consummation and should that be done through Section 2 or Section 7? How do characteristics of the ticketing market, including developments in ticketing technology and transferability, invite monopolization? If so, how can these market characteristics be mitigated, or managed? Can technology be deployed to break through barriers to entry and improve the experience of artists and consumers? The roundtable will focus on developing concrete and practical proposals to restore and reinvigorate competition in event ticketing.

Registration is free for those interested in attending and available at the event page on the AAI website.

Last Updated on September 29, 2022 by Dave Clark