Entertainment giant Live Nation and its subsidiary Ticketmaster are currently under investigation by the Department of Justice for its 2010 merger and reportedly subjects of a forthcoming antitrust lawsuit. Now, Live Nation President and CFO Joe Berchtold is reportedly in discussions with the DOJ to “figure out common ground.”

As previously reported, it seems Live Nation is making some last-ditch efforts to stave off a lawsuit from the DOJ by meeting with DOJ officials. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Berchtold spoke at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Communications conference, noting that “we wouldn’t get to this point if [the DOJ] didn’t have concerns, but the good news is we’re still talking and they’ve said they have an open mind.”

“So without getting into the real details of the conversation, I think it’s fair to say I continue to believe that we fundamentally have business practices that are fully defensible,” Berchtold said. “But we’re also open to figuring out common ground in order to get this settled and move on. But we don’t know exactly what they want at this point still.”

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In Live Nation’s most recent earnings report, Berchtold said the company did not break any antitrust laws and doesn’t believe the DOJ has a right to break up their partnership with Ticketmaster, noting that “the DOJ’s investigation appears to be focused on specific business practices, not the legality of Live Nation Ticketmaster merger or our overall business structure.”

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The looming antitrust lawsuit follows the department’s investigation of Live Nation last year amid calls for the companies to be broken-up following Taylor Swift’s disastrous Eras Tour ticketing fiasco. While specific charges against the pair were not determined for the lawsuit, the companies have been consistently accused of multiple anticompetitive business practices from the start of their tie-up, including allegations that Live Nation had threatened venues by pulling bookings if they did not use Ticketmaster as their ticket provider.

In one notable example, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn flipped to SeatGeek as its ticketing vendor in 2021, only to flip right back a year later – a move many contend was due to the promotional giant withholding high-profile tours from Brooklyn – sending them instead to UBS Arena further east of the city, which is a Ticketmaster building.

Berchtold, however, claims “it’s a very competitive market,” adding, “don’t let any of the press reports fool you.”