Amid significant legal and regulatory scrutiny of its business practices and competition within the live entertainment business, Live Nation Entertainment announced it has hired prominent antitrust attorney Dan Wall as its Executive Vice President for Corporate and Regulatory Affairs. The role brings Wall, who has worked with Live Nation for more than 12 years including recently as lead outside counsel while a partner at Latham & Watkins, into senior management under President and CEO Michael Rapino.

“Dan has been a trusted advisor and partner and he will no doubt continue to be a valuable asset to the team,” Rapino said in a press release announcing Wall’s coming aboard.

“Live Nation has been a special client to me, so about three years ago I floated the idea of this continuing relationship,” said Wall.  “I am grateful to Michael and Joe for allowing me to continue our work together and I am excited by the challenge.”

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The move to bring the veteran attorney on board comes during a period of unprecedented congressional and regulatory attention being paid to Live Nation, which has for many years been dogged by allegations that it operates as an unregulated monopoly in live entertainment. While subject to a consent decree barring certain anticompetitive conduct since its merger with Ticketmaster more than a decade ago, the company was found to have repeatedly violated provisions of that decree after a DOJ investigation, resulting in penalties and an extension of the decree.

Massive issues during recent ticket sales – notably a Taylor Swift tour that drew international headlines over the system failures experienced by consumers trying to buy tickets – drew the full attention of lawmakers, who slammed the company as a “monopoly” and “too big to care” in the lead-up to a public hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in January.

Prior to Wall’s coming aboard, news broke that Live Nation has also retained a high-profile lobbyist in Washington D.C. that has worked directly with the Senate Antitrust committee, developing further a lobbying operation that already dwarfed that of other businesses in the live entertainment space.

Wall is described on his bio page for Latham and Watkins – a firm which he retired from on January 31 prior to the announcement of his move to Live Nation – as “one of the leading antitrust lawyers in the United States. He began his career as a trial lawyer with the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, where he was a member of the landmark 1982 U.S. vs. AT&T antitrust case that forced the breakup of the Bell System of telephone companies – a landmark for antitrust enforcement.

Now working for the other side of antitrust cases, Wall has litigated nearly 100 antitrust cases and argued appeals, including at the Supreme Court, according to his L&W biography. “Known for his exceptional courtroom skills, he has a particular ability to craft easy-to-understand defenses of complex business practices,” it says.

Photo via Wall’s bio page on Latham & Watkins website

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