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Michigan joins antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation and Ticketmaster

DOJ sues Live Nation; Michigan and other states join lawsuit
DOJ sues Live Nation; Michigan and other states join lawsuit 05:46

(CBS DETROIT) - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced on Thursday that she has joined a federal antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation and its subsidiary, Ticketmaster.

The lawsuit, filed by the U.S. Department of Justice in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York, alleges that Live Nation illegally monopolized the live music industry and drove up ticket prices. Twenty-nine other states and the District of Columbia also joined the lawsuit.

"Michigan concertgoers deserve the chance to experience the thrill of seeing their favorite artist live, in a venue close to home, without breaking the bank," Nessel said in a statement. "Unfortunately, this dream is out of reach for many because of Live Nation's illegal monopoly. A truly competitive marketplace is essential to providing consumers with choice. That's why I, along with the Department of Justice and other states, are taking a stand against Live Nation's practices that limit choice, hamper innovation, and unfairly inflate prices." 

The complaint accused the companies of threatening and retaliating against venues that worked with rival promoters, locking concert venues with long-term contracts to prevent them from choosing rival ticketers and blocking venues from using multiple ticketers.

"Taken individually and considered together, Live Nation's and Ticketmaster's conduct allows them to exploit their conflicts of interest—as a promoter, ticketer, venue owner, and artist manager—across the live music industry and further entrench their dominant positions," read the lawsuit.

In response to the lawsuit, Live Nation said the complaint won't reduce ticket prices or service fees.

"The complaint—and even more so the press conference announcing it—attempt to portray Live Nation and Ticketmaster as the cause of fan frustration with the live entertainment industry," Live Nation said. "Despite admitting that "[t]he face values of tickets are typically set or approved by artists," it blames concert promoters and ticketing companies—neither of which control ticket prices—for high ticket prices."

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