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US Department Of Justice Investigating Ticketmaster Over Abuse Of Market Power

About time.

Festival Crowd
Photo by Danny Howe

Ticketmaster is now under investigation by the US Department Of Justice over its alleged abuse of power within the entertainment industry. According to a story by The New York Times, the investigation began prior to the Taylor Swift debacle earlier this week where fans were either not able to get tickets or were being asked in the realm of $20,000 for tickets.

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"Members of the antitrust division's staff at the Justice Department have in recent months contacted music venues and players in the ticket market, asking about Live Nation’s practices and the wider dynamics of the industry, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is sensitive," wrote David McCabe and Ben Sisario in their New York Times article. "The inquiry appears to be broad, looking at whether the company maintains a monopoly over the industry, one of the people said."

Outside the above investigation, Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti has also opened a consumer protection investigation into Ticketmaster regarding the recent Swift issues, while North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has launched an investigation into Ticketmaster's alleged violation of violating consumers' rights and antitrust laws.

On top of all that, there's also the recent formation of the Break Up Ticketmaster coalition. The coalition is made up of the American Economic Liberties Project, Sports Fans Coalition, Fight Corporate Monopolies, More Perfect Union, Fan Freedom, the Consumer Federation of America, the National Consumers League, and the Artist Rights Alliance and seeks to end the company's massive hold on the ticketing industry.

"Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged in 2010," reads their website. "Despite promises of increased competition and consumer benefit, they now control 70% primary ticketing and live event venues market. They’re hiking up ticket prices, charging rip-off junk fees, and exploiting artists, independent venues, and fans.

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"The Department of Justice can reverse this merger and bring competition back to the industry. Help us demand that they do." Check out the Break Up Ticketmaster site here.

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