U.S. DoJ preparing legal action against Live Nation for ticketing tactics: WSJ

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(Reuters) – U.S. Department of Justice is preparing to take legal action against Live Nation Entertainment on allegations the concert promoter has sought to strong-arm concert venues into using its dominant Ticketmaster subsidiary, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing sources.

The department believes the concert promoter’s conduct has violated the merger settlement Live Nation and Ticketmaster reached with the government in 2010, the report said.

The DoJ’s antitrust unit allowed the companies to merge on the condition they abide by a range of conditions to keep ticket prices in check, including agreeing here to be barred from retaliating against venue owners who use a competing ticket service.

As ticket prices rise and the settlement is set to expire next year, the DoJ now plans to extend the restrictions by several years and prohibit coercive conduct by Live Nation, the report added.

Reporting by Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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