Last week’s “explosive” exposure of documents from a 2019 expert study Live Nation and Ticketmaster fought to keep out of the public eye continues to bring significant negative attention for the entertainment giant, with consumer advocates and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) slamming the “monopoly” tactics on display.

FURTHER READING | Pascrell Shares “Explosive” Ticketmaster Report Alleging Abuses

This new criticism focuses in on one aspect of the expert report, which revealed accounting tricks allegedly used by the company to inflate its profits at the expense of its own event production partners and artists.

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“The documents unearthed by Representative Pascrell reveal a previously-unknown tactic by which Live Nation has issued itself ‘rebates’ to inflate its own profits while hiding revenue from artists, promoters and independent venues,” The Break Up Ticketmaster Coalition said in a statement. “It should be clear that Live Nation’s monopoly power extends far beyond ticket prices and junk fees and is hobbling the entire live events industry.”

Sen. Warren – long a critic of perceived anti-consumer actions taken by businesses like Live Nation – responded to the posting of the coalition’s analysis on X, ripping the “scheme” and applauding the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation into the company.

FURTHER READING | Justice Department has Opened Anti-Trust Investigation of Live Nation

Live Nation Entertainment and Ticketmaster have long defended themselves from allegations that they operate as an unlawful monopoly – including a 2019 settlement following a DOJ investigation that found multiple violations of a consent decree that the companies had entered into as a part of the approval of their merger a decade earlier. These new allegations were surfaced by Rep. Pascrell after they were discovered in the documents filed as part of a 2011 lawsuit filed against Live Nation Entertainment by a New Jersey EDM performer.

The rebate “scheme” outlined in the document by an expert with access to Live Nation company documents involved the company entering into agreements with third party vendors that set those costs at a higher amount, in exchange for a rebate paid back to Live Nation. This practice meant that when the promotional giant settled with its event partners owed a percentage of profits, it was able to show the event as either a “loss” or “very low profit” while pocketing the rebates in what amounted to a kickback.

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“Live Nation is gaming the market to project revenue losses onto its business partners, which can result in financial ruin, while padding its own profits,” said Morgan Harper, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the American Economic Liberties Project. “This predatory business tactic should be of acute interest to the Department of Justice’s ongoing investigation into Live Nation. It adds further credence to the calls from fans, artists, promoters and venue owners to break up Live Nation’s middleman monopoly.”

Rep. Pascrell’s team passed the document on with a letter to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which has been investigating Live Nation Entertainment’s business practices and recently filed a subpoena demanding documents from the company. It was also shared with the Federal Trade Commission, Justice Department Antitrust Division, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

FURTHER READING | Live Nation Subpoenaed by “Stonewalled” Senate Committee

The longtime Ticketmaster critic, who has proposed widespread reforms to the entire ticketing ecosystem in the BOSS and SWIFT Act, said he hoped the document would aid the committee in its efforts to end “rampant corrupt and abusive practices by the Live Nation-Ticketmaster monopoly.”

FURTHER READING | Boss and Swift Act Ticket Reform Bill Introduced to U.S. Senate