The first of a likely wave of class action lawsuits has been filed in the wake of Live Nation Entertainment and Ticketmaster being sued by the Department of Justice this week. Filed in New York on the same day the DOJ filed its lawsuit seeking to break up the alleged monopoly, the class action lawsuit is seeking $5 billion in damages on behalf of potentially millions of ticket-buying consumers in the United States.

“Live Nation and Ticketmaster have continued to grow their already dominant market shares [in concert promotion, primary ticketing services, and secondary ticketing services] by leveraging their monopoly power in each market against smaller competitors in the other two markets,” the complaint alleges. It goes into significant detail into how this market dominance raises prices for consumers in multiple ways.

Abraham Leifer is the named plaintiff in the case, which names both Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. and Ticketmaster LLC as defendants. It claims that Leifer and other class members have been forced to pay “supracompetitive prices” for tickets to concerts and events on both primary and secondary ticket markets due to the monopolistic practices that the government has charged Live Nation and Ticketmaster with.

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It also argues that the use of technology designed to block competition in the resale space – such as the “safe tix” dynamic barcode system – harm open competition there by making it difficult for people to sell tickets they’ve purchased on independent marketplaces, which also inflates prices paid by consumers.

It cites, similarly to the DOJ’s case against Live Nation and Ticketmaster, the Sherman Antitrust Act much of its claims of the illegality of the conduct it alleges. It also cites state antitrust laws in 26 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico as having been violated by the alleged conduct.

Read the full complaint (PDF file opens in new window): LEIFER v LIVE NATION

Live Nation Entertainment and Ticketmaster have been targeted by numerous lawsuits from consumers in the last decade alleging price inflation driven by its outsized market power, but largely have avoided seeing them make it to jury trials by weaponizing terms and conditions that demand such matters be handled in private arbitration. They have also been sued multiple times by shareholders, angry over sudden stock price drops when bad news breaks.