Industry News

Ticketmaster hits back at NYT claims

Ticketmaster’s president Jared Smith has released a statement defending the under-fire company after Live Nation’s share price fell by more than 10 per cent following New York Times accusations of anti-competitive practices.

The newspaper said earlier this week that Live Nation and Ticketmaster are being investigated by the US Department of Justice over “serious accusations about Live Nation’s behaviour in the marketplace”.

The report cited examples of “threats” the company had used to maintain market dominance.

Live Nation’s share price was at $42 a week ago, but fell as low as $36 on Tuesday. It stood at just over $38 on Thursday.

“The NYT story Live Nation Rules Music Ticketing, Some Say With Threats is right about one thing: Ticketmaster continues to maintain its position as the clear industry leader,” Smith said.

“That leadership, however, is not the result of any unfair advantages resulting from being a part of Live Nation Entertainment as some are suggesting.

“Pure and simple, it is the result of Live Nation’s ongoing commitment to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into Ticketmaster to ensure that our people, technology and services are the very best at what they do.”

Smith added that the newspaper and the company’s opponents have misunderstood the company’s obligations under the DOJ Consent Decree, which was signed when Live Nation and Ticketmaster were allowed to merge in 2010.

“It is absolutely against Live Nation and Ticketmaster policy to threaten venues that they won’t get any Live Nation shows if they don’t use Ticketmaster,” Smith added.

“We also do not re-route content as retaliation for a lost ticketing deal. Live Nation is the most artist-focused company in the world, and misusing our relationship with artists to “settle scores” with venues would be both bad business and counter to our core beliefs.”