Entertainment giant Live Nation and its ticketing subsidiary Ticketmaster have been hit with an antitrust lawsuit by the Department of Justice and 29 states, and amid calls for the pair to be broken-up, one legislator is speaking up.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) penned an Op-Ed to Rolling Stone, calling-out the ticketer and its parent company.

“Years of bullying both artists and venues, while price-gouging customers, has caught up with this corporate giant,” Warren said. “The Justice Department has filed a long-overdue antitrust lawsuit for its predatory practices — and cheers can be heard from all parts of the entertainment world.”

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Warren explained that Ticketmaster is “merely a middleman” as the ticket seller, but quickly gained power by controlling the ticketing market because of its pairing with Live Nation. She noted that when the pair merged in 2009, “it didn’t take a genius to see that the one resulting company would dominate the live events industry,” and while the DOJ recognized a problem, they only implemented a consent decree, which prohibited them from forcing venues to use its ticketing service.

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The DOJ noted in its filing that Live Nation controls more than half of all concert promotions at major U.S. venues, as well as 80% of ticket sales for major concert venues, something Warren said “gives it the power to freeze out competitors — and Live Nation has not been shy about using this power.” Amid the pair’s monopolistic power, Warren said audiences are “robbed” amid tacked-on fees, dubbed as :service,” “handling,” “payment processing,” and “facility” fees, which amount to almost a third of a ticket’s value.

“Chances are you or someone you know has had a Ticketmaster horror story,” Warren said. “But without competition, audiences have nowhere else to turn.”

Warren recognized that Live Nation and Ticketmaster are “not about to give up their almost $23 billion in revenue without a fight,” pointing out their heavy lobbying efforts since 2016. Specifically, she mentioned that Live Nation has spent $110,000 in federal political contributions since 2021, with $20,000 going specifically to lawmakers who serve on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where specific legislation targeting predatory ticketing practices is pending.

| READ: What They’re Saying: State AGs on Why They’re Suing Live Nation

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“With the Biden administration, Congress, and the states actively cracking down on junk fees and predatory contracts, this isn’t a great time to run a business that is built on them,” Warren said. “This may be the moment that Ticketmaster’s lock on live entertainment is broken, and performers and venues can reach their audiences directly. By enforcing the antitrust laws, the Justice Department may add a little fresh competition to an industry that has been under the thumb of a single corporate giant for too long.”

Read Warren’s full Op-Ed here.

Warren isn’t alone, either; in the immediate aftermath of the filing of USA vs. Live Nation Entertainment in New York, we’ve seen a wave of support for the DOJ, including the Department of Justice Leadership, the Progressive Policy Institute, the American Economic Liberties Project, Fan Fairness Coalition, Sports Fans Coalition, and the Coalition for Ticket Fairness. 

Additionally, Jay Marciano, CEO of one of Live Nation’s competitors AEG Presents, reportedly told his company that Live Nation is a monopoly that will likely be broken up as a result of the Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit filed in May, according to an internal memo published by Variety.

“AEG has long maintained that Ticketmaster has a monopoly in the U.S. ticketing marketplace and uses that monopoly power to subsidize Live Nation’s content businesses, preventing other businesses from competing in those areas and leaving consumers to suffer the consequences,” the memo read.