Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a civil antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment Inc. and its subsidiary, Ticketmaster, for thwarting competition within the live entertainment industry through monopolization.

Live Entertainment Inc. was formed in 2010 through the merger of two major ticketing companies—leading to a domination of ticket sales, advertising, and concert production.

According to a press release from Paxton’s office, Live Nation used Ticketmaster to demand “exclusive and anticompetitive contracts with venues under threat of punitive economic action.” This led to Ticketmaster leveraging its monopoly on ticket sales and amphitheaters to lure performers into restrictive promotional contracts.

Ticketmaster capitalized on concert-goers through price hikes, exorbitant fees, and reduced choice.

Paxton, the other states, and the DOJ are asking the court to block Ticketmaster’s price gouging tactics. They are also asking for Live Nation Entertainment Inc. to be split, once again, into separate companies and provide restitution to consumers hurt by the anticompetitive monopoly.

“Mega-corporations cannot control entire industries to create anti-competitive environments, drive up prices, and take advantage of consumers,” Paxton said. “With this lawsuit, we aim to ensure fair competition for ticket sellers, concert-goers, venues, and others in the entertainment space who have been affected by this merger.”

The states of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming joined the lawsuit, along with the District of Columbia and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Will Biagini

Will was born in Louisiana and raised in a military family. He currently serves as a journalist with Texas Scorecard. Previously, he was a senior correspondent for Campus Reform.