Diana Moss to Swifties: This is How to Break Up Ticketmaster/Livenation

Jul 27, 2023

On July 20, Capitol Forum Executive Editor Teddy Downey spoke with Diana Moss, President of the American Antitrust Institute (AAI), about what a LiveNation-Ticketmaster monopoly breakup could look like. The AAI recently published a deep dive on vertical integration of Live Nation and Ticketmaster as well as proposed remedies.  On the podcast, Diana describes the legal climate around vertical mergers in 2010 when the two companies first merged: “We had this whole gestalt around vertical mergers being viewed as pro-competitive, getting a lot of deference in enforcement cases, no case law. And that merger, Live Nation/Ticketmaster, was especially egregious because Ticketmaster had about 80 percent share in primary ticketing.”

To put that statistic in perspective, Diana cites the new, proposed merger guidelines, which describe 50 percent share as a presumption of anti-competitive outcomes.  The current result, she points out, is a lack of choice for everyone involved: “Venues have no choice, or very little choice, but to go to Ticketmaster. Artists have very little choice but to go to Ticketmaster for ticketing. Even Taylor Swift had to do this. She was promoted by AEG, which is a competing concert promoter, but AEG didn’t have the ticketing services. So Ticketmaster was the only option.”

Listen to the full podcast to hear about:

  • The complications of secondary markets
  • Retaliation fears from artists and independent venues
  • Historical breakup precedents
  • Potential remedies, including the drawbacks to conduct remedies