Nov 21, 2023 2 min read

US Senate committee subpoenas Live Nation to access documents for its investigation into "abusive consumer practices"

A committee in the US Senate has accused Live Nation of “egregiously stonewalling” its investigation into "abusive consumer practices" and has sent a subpoena to the live giant demanding access to documentation about its ticketing business

US Senate committee subpoenas Live Nation to access documents for its investigation into "abusive consumer practices"

Live Nation has been sent a subpoena by a subcommittee of the US Senate demanding access to documentation in relation to its Ticketmaster business, with the chair of the committee stating that he has taken this action because the live giant has "egregiously stonewalled" an ongoing investigation into "abusive consumer practices".

The subpoena requires Live Nation to provide senators with internal documents and communications, as well as financial data, that will provide further insight on how ticket prices are set, the fees Ticketmaster charges on ticket sales, and how deals are structured between the ticketing business and the artists and venues it works with.

Responding to the subpoena, a Live Nation spokesperson said that the company is happy to provide the information the subcommittee has requested, but only if assurances are provided that "standard confidentiality measures" will be employed, and so far those assurances have not been forthcoming.

The ticketing sector has been back in the political spotlight in the US ever since the debacle last year when tickets for Taylor Swift's tour went on sale via Ticketmaster. There are an assortment of issues with the ticketing sector that politicians can look into, though for some the dominance of Live Nation and Ticketmaster is a key concern.

It's the Senate Permanent Subcommittee On Investigations that has issued this subpoena. Its Chair, Richard Blumenthal, said on X yesterday: "Live Nation has egregiously stonewalled my subcommittee’s inquiry into its abusive consumer practices - making the subpoena necessary. This subpoena demands that the company promptly comply with our request for documents essential to understand its business practices".

"American consumers", he went on, "deserve fair ticket prices, without hidden fees or predatory charges. And the American public deserves to know how Ticketmaster’s unfair practices may be enabled by its misuse of monopoly power".

In its own statement, Live Nation insisted that it has "voluntarily worked with the subcommittee from the start, providing extensive information and holding several meetings with staff". But, "in order to provide additional information requested about artist and client compensation and other similarly sensitive matters, we’ve asked for standard confidentiality measures".

“Thus far", they added, "the subcommittee has refused to provide such assurances, but if and when those protections are in place we will provide additional information on these issues".

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