September 23, 2021

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Senators push the judiciary for competitive concert ticket prices – Variety

5 min read

U.S. Senators Amy Klubucher (D-MN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Corey Booker (D-NJ) sent a letter to the Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Makan Delrahim on Thursday, requesting that the Judiciary be made a vibrant and competitive The performance marketplace will be present after the coronavirus epidemic, ”said a statement. Ray.

Last August, Klubucher and Blumenthal asked the judiciary to investigate the state of competition in the ticket market, expressing concern that the owner of Ticketmaster, Live Nation, was ignoring a 2010 consent decree on their anti-competitive practices. The senators were joined by several members of Congress who have been in favor of more competition in the ticket space in recent years.

Live Nation has reached a temporary settlement with the incredible Department of Justice and the 2010 agreement with Ticketmaster will extend the decree until 2025, the closest source to the situation. Diversity. The consent decree will contain updated instructions regarding the company’s retaliation against places that use other ticketing services.

“We have reached an agreement in principle with the judiciary to extend and clarify the consent decree,” a statement from Live Nation said. Diversity Fall. “We believe this is the best outcome for our business, clients and shareholders. We are shifting our focus back to the 2020 initiative.”

“Discussions surrounding the recent expansion of the Ticketmaster / Live Nation Consent Decree have revealed serious previous concerns about the state of direct competition in the entertainment industry, which has been exacerbated by severe financial pressures due to the current healthcare crisis.”

Although it seems unusual to schedule a letter, it does indicate that when concerts are sincerely reopened, one should not be sure to consider the matter, which is estimated to be between 18 and 24 months at most.

“As a result of the epidemic, the venues for live performances have closed for the first time. And given the risks posed by larger group gatherings, they will probably be among the last to reopen, “the letter said in part.” We acknowledge that independent industry participants are overwhelmed by the weather in this crisis Empty may face challenges and worries that Live Nation Entertainment, an organization already dominating the live entertainment industry, will become even stronger once it is over.

“When Americans are ready to go back to stadiums, theaters and concert halls, they deserve a competitive market that offers value, choice and a variety of entertainment experiences. Accordingly, we urge you to closely monitor these markets during and after the epidemic so that all participants and customers in the industry benefit from free and fair competition. “

Earlier this month, Klubucher and 14 fellow antitrust Makan Delrahim and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) chairman Joseph Simmons sent a letter to the assistant attorney general urging the judiciary and the FTC to enforce the no-confidence law and protect consumers. . And after the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.

The full text of the letter can be found here and below:

Dear Assistant Attorney General Delrahim:

In light of the devastating effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic directly on the distribution industry, we write to the Antitrust Department to urge these markets to be closely monitored during and after the epidemic to help ensure a vibrant and competitive live performance. Can merge

Due to the nature of COVID-19 and how it is transmitted from person to person, it directly affects the event industry in any way. Gathering with family and friends as part of the crowd to enjoy live music and other forms of entertainment is an important part of the fabric of American life, but as a result of the epidemic, live performance venues have closed for the first time. And given the risks raised by larger group gatherings, they will likely be among the reopened ends.

As a result, event venues across the country have closed their doors due to the very low chances of reopening in the near future and the lack of alternative sources of income. We acknowledge that independent industry participants may face additional challenges in weathering this crisis and are concerned that Live Nation Entertainment, an organization already dominating the live entertainment industry, will become even stronger once it is over.

The recent reorganization of the Antistrust Division and the expansion of the Ticketmaster / Live Nation Consent Decree have introduced you to Live Nation’s business practices and ticketing, event promotion, and many of the competition concerns raised by industry participants about its strong market position. Venya Booking. Even before the epidemic, industry participants complained that Live Nation was lifting its significant presence above and below the live entertainment value chain to facilitate its approved business. In this unprecedented situation, which threatens the entire industry, the antitrust department must monitor these markets to ensure that Live Nation does not further curb market dominance at the expense of smaller competitors.

For example, there are hundreds of stand-alone performance venues around the county that have been forced to close operations. While most of these independent venues compete with live nation venues, the multi-billion dollar company does not have the financial resources to weather the revenue crisis. The financial pressure of the epidemic could force many or force them to sell to big buyers, unless they give in to the live nation itself. And for places that have been able to remain independent by the epidemic, many have expressed concern about its impact on Live Nation’s ticketing, artist management system and other markets preventing independent places from being booked after the crisis is over. Clearly, in the midst of this crisis, some investors are optimistic about the long-term prospects of a live nation; Saudi Arabia’s Sovereign Wealth Fund has just invested million 500 million in the company.

To be sure, the live broadcast industry is not the only part of the economy during this epidemic that has disrupted the lives of Americans and carried a horrific and still rising death toll. This is not the only meritorious precautionary measure during and after the epidemic. But as you know, there are serious concerns about the state of our competition in the live entertainment industry and the serious financial pressures on the industry add to our concerns. When Americans are ready to return to stadiums, theaters, and concert halls, they deserve a competitive marketplace that offers value, choice, and a variety of entertainment experiences. Accordingly, we urge you to closely monitor these markets during and after the epidemic so that all industry participants and customers benefit from free and fair competition.

Thank you for your attention.

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