Live Nation is being sued by a group of investors, and several law firms are looking into whether the live events giant lied to investors by not telling them about business practices that hurt competition.

In a class action lawsuit filed on August 4 in federal court in California, investors accused Live Nation of lying to them about its allegedly anti-competitive business practices, such as charging outrageous fees, bundling services, and punishing venues that do not use its subsidiary Ticketmaster as their ticketing service provider.

Since the Justice Department started an antitrust review into the company last year, Live Nation’s control over the live music business has been getting more and more attention. After Ticketmaster’s systems crashed during the much-anticipated presale of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour tickets, a review was launched.

The lawsuit says that the stock price of Live Nation fell by almost 8% that day. Then, another 8% dropped last month after Politico said that the company could be sued for trade violations by the end of the year. Investors point to a number of what they say are false or misleading comments made by the company about antitrust investigations into how it does business.

Pavithra Rajesh, a lawyer for the investors who filed the complaint, says that Live Nation did not tell investors that its allegedly anti-competitive behavior makes it “reasonably likely” that regulators will look into it and that it will face fines, penalties, and damage to its image.

In 2019, the Justice Department found that the company broke the terms of a settlement that let it merge with Ticketmaster in 2010. They did this by making venues use their ticketing services as a condition for having Live Nation acts and punishing those who didn’t. A new deal says that the company can not tie up services and will have to pay a $1 million fine if it breaks the rules. A watchdog can look into any other violations of the consent decree until 2025.

Also, the case says that Live Nation misled investors when it said last year that there “has never been and is not now any evidence of systemic violations” of that settlement.

Live Nation and Ticketmaster got together in 2009, which was two years after Live Nation said it was going to start its own booking service. Before the deal, Live Nation was Ticketmaster’s biggest customer.

The lawsuit also names CEO Michael Rapino and CFO Joe Berchtold. It says that they broke the Securities Exchange Act, which says that people can not lie or leave out important information when buying or selling securities. Investors who bought stocks or bonds from February 23, 2022, to July 28, 2023, are being sued.

In order to win their case under securities law, investors must show that officers knew their comments about antitrust liability were false or misleading.


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