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Live Nation stock tumbles on report of antitrust probe


Live Nation (LYV) stock dropped more than 7% on Tuesday after the Wall Street Journal reported the Department of Justice (DOJ) is preparing to file an antitrust lawsuit against the company as soon as next month.

According to the report, the DOJ will allege that Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster, has “leveraged its dominance” in the marketplace to harm competitors.

The federal government approved the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger in 2010. Since then, the company has been at the center of antitrust concerns, with critics taking aim at its sky-high ticket fees and accusing the entertainment giant of monopolistic practices and anti-competitive behavior.

In 2020, the department updated the company’s consent decree, an agreement which barred Live Nation from strong-arming venues into using Ticketmaster for its tours, and extended it until 2025 after finding evidence the company repeatedly and over the course of several years engaged in conduct that violated its earlier agreement.

Meanwhile, Capitol Hill ramped up its fight against Live Nation during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing at the start of last year following a 2022 fiasco with Taylor Swift concert tickets.

At the time, multiple senators called for a breakup of the company, although some Wall Street analysts have argued a breakup wouldn’t necessarily solve the problems surrounding the unregulated secondary ticket market.

Analysts have also said Live Nation would be a “shell of itself” without Ticketmaster as that entity makes up the bulk of the profits.

In its latest earnings report, the company saw its fiscal year 2023 revenue surge 36% year over year to $22.7 billion, while its earnings per share more than doubled to $1.37. Concert attendance climbed 20% as over 145 million fans attended over 50,000 events.

In the face of Tuesday’s stock declines, shares are down about 1% since the start of the year. Live Nation did not immediately respond to Yahoo Finance’s request for comment on the report.

Live Nation has been at the center of antirust concerns since its 2010 merger with Ticketmaster. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Live Nation has been at the center of antirust concerns since its 2010 merger with Ticketmaster. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo (Reuters / Reuters)

Alexandra Canal is a Senior Reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on X @allie_canal, LinkedIn, and email her at alexandra.canal@yahoofinance.com.

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