The US Justice Department (DOJ) is preparing to file a competition lawsuit against entertainment giant Live Nation, potentially as early as Thursday, according to

multiple sources familiar with the matter. The lawsuit will challenge the business practices of Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster, sources confirmed to the BBC's US partner, CBS News.

Allegations of Anti-Competitive Practices

Prosecutors are expected to argue that Live Nation's business practices have stifled competition and limited consumer choice, contributing to higher prices. Typically, when the DOJ sues over competition issues, it seeks to compel companies to either divest parts of their business or alter their operational methods.

The DOJ has not provided comments on the upcoming lawsuit, and Live Nation has also been approached for a statement by the BBC but has yet to respond. The federal government's legal challenge will be supported by numerous state attorneys general, according to the Washington Post, which initially broke the story.

Background and Growing Criticism

Live Nation Entertainment was formed in 2010 from the merger of US-based event promoter Live Nation and ticket sales and distribution company Ticketmaster. The DOJ approved the merger despite concerns it would create a dominant entity in the live entertainment industry.

Since then, Live Nation Entertainment has faced increasing criticism from fans, lawmakers, artists, and competitors for allegedly wielding excessive influence over live entertainment events in the US and globally.

Recent Controversies

In November 2022, Ticketmaster faced widespread backlash from Taylor Swift fans when its website crashed during the pre-sale period for her Eras Tour, exacerbating concerns over the company's dominance and customer service issues.

Market Impact

Following news of the impending DOJ lawsuit, Live Nation's shares dropped by more than 6% in after-hours trading in New York.

The DOJ's anti-trust division has been investigating Live Nation for years, and the anticipated lawsuit marks a significant step in addressing long-standing concerns about competition in the live entertainment sector. Photo by Justin Higuchi from Los Angeles, CA, USA, Wikimedia commons.