US Republican Bill Pascrell Jr has written to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division, to urge members to look at federal guidelines to make it easier to overturn bad mergers, using the Live Nation and Ticketmaster deal as an example.
Pascrell wrote to FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan and Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter and said: “I write to suggest you streamline and simplify the ability of the FTC and DOJ to undo mergers that ultimately harm competitiveness and contribute to market concentration.
“Furthermore, I urge you to closely assess one such disastrous merger, the 2010 marriage of Live Nation and Ticketmaster, and overturn it for the good of consumers and America.”
Pascrell has been a frequent critic of the merger, even when the deal was proposed over a decade ago. He has often demanded probes into the partnership.
His letter added: “A merger between companies is not written in stone. Consolidation cannot be accepted as a law of nature, immutable and unchangeable. Rather, where a merger has harmed industry competition, stifled freedom of choice, and hurt workers, it should be undone.”
The Republican also worked on introducing the Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Ticketing Act (BOSS Act) in early 2020, to push for greater transparency and consumer rights related to the purchase of event tickets. He is pushing for the bill to be reintroduced later this year.
Most recently, US Senators Richard Blumenthal and Amy Klobuchar called on the DOJ to investigate competition in the live entertainment market, including Ticketmaster and Live Nation’s updated consent decree.
The Senators for Connecticut and Minnesota respectively, said that Live Nation, through its ownership of Ticketmaster, had a ‘near-monopoly’ on the live event ticketing market.