A US court has finalised the five-and-a-half year extension and modification of Live Nation’s consent decree, which allowed it to merge with Ticketmaster in 2010.
On Tuesday, a Federal Court in Washington DC entered an Amended Final Judgement to extend the consent decree between the two entertainment giants to 2025.
The original consent decree, which was originally set to expire this year, allowed Live Nation and Ticketmaster to combine but required them to follow a set of conditions designed to keep consumer prices in check by preserving competition in the industry. One of those conditions included prohibiting Live Nation from “retaliating” against venues for not using Ticketmaster, or threatening venues.
In Tuesday’s ruling, the court also set the procedure for naming of an Independent Monitoring Trustee, which the US Department of Justice states will make enforcement of the decree for the extended time period “more efficient”.
The court allowed Live Nation and Ticketmaster to continue to operate despite testimony from the DOJ, which claimed the live entertainment giant “repeatedly” broke the decree. It presented evidence it claims demonstrates that Live Nation threatened at least six venues.
Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, said this week during the Amedend Final Judgement: “Live Nation broke the promises they made to the court and the American people when they merged with Ticketmaster in 2010; today, we are holding them accountable.”
Live Nation denied the allegations, stating that the DOJ’s conclusion draw from “six isolated episodes among some 5,000 ticketing deals.”
The DOJ filed a petition last month listing a number of provisions for the extended consent decree, which included an automatic penalty of $1m for each violation as well as having to pay the costs and fees for the DOJ’s investigation and enforcement.
Delrahim added: “The amended decree reimburses the American people millions of dollars and makes it easier for the Antitrust Division and state enforcers to identify and prosecute future transgressions.”