Speaking to Yahoo Finance earlier this week, American Economic Liberties Project Senior Policy Analyst Krista Brown was blunt in her assessment of Ticketmaster and Live Nation in the wake of last month’s bombshell hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Essentially these two companies have bene acting pretty monopolistic for decades at this point,” she told the hosts, then elaborated further.

Prior to the 2010 merger [of Ticketmaster and Live Nation], Live Nation had consolidated the concert-promotion business throughout the ’90s, started by this man Bob Silverman. And that company initially was named SFX. It got rolled up into Clear Channel, a radio consolidator, and then spun off to Live Nation.

Ticketmaster did the same starting even earlier, rolling up the ticketing industry in the ’80s and ’90s. And the two, they were acting with exclusive arrangements throughout the ’90s. So prior to the merger, they already had this vast control of the industry. Both actually have been probed for antitrust issues by the Department of Justice.

And then in 2010, you know, their informal marriage was formalized, and they merged. And that’s kind of what we see today where we have this vast consolidation, and we get one ticketing platform, essentially one– well, the largest promoter that also has exclusive arrangements with the majority of large venues.

The companies have, as most people know, been under intense scrutiny from the public and lawmakers alike for a long time amid allegations of anticompetitive behavior that hurts consumers in the live entertainment and ticket markets. Things have come to a head in recent months as fans have returned to live events in a huge way following the lengthy pandemic-related shutdown of mass gatherings, only to be confronted with outrageous ticket prices surged using “dynamic” and “platinum” ticketing schemes, system failures like during the maligned Taylor Swift Eras Tour presale in November that led to the hearing before the Senate.

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In response, Live Nation has brought one of the top antitrust lawyers in the United States in-house as its Executive Vice President for Corporate and Regulatory Affairs. It has continued to blame “bots” and ticket scalping for all consumers issues in the ticketing space, though it did apologize to Swift for the failures of her tour onsale.

American Economic Liberties Project is one of many groups that have formed a coalition asking that the Department of Justice investigate competition violations alleged by the entertainment giant – dubbed “Break Up Ticketmaster” – as well as for lawmakers to address the underlying competition issues inherent to the vertically integrated company running so much of the business. That campaign saw an enormous surge in consumer support after its launch in the fall, with more than 51,200 letters sent through the campaign thus far.

Watch Brown’s full interview with Yahoo Finance here:

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