The Cowen Group, an investment bank, financial services and analysis company, has said that it believes the US Department of Justice (DOJ) will sue Ticketmaster and Live Nation this year, with the goal of breaking the merger apart.
Media outlet More Perfect Union reported that The Cowen Group believes the chances of Ticketmaster and owner Live Nation being handed a DOJ lawsuit have increased from 35% to 60%.
The Cowen Group stated that it believes this will happen because of White House and congressional backing. In 2021, President Joe Biden issued an Executive Order on Competition, which encouraged the DOJ and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to unwind any mergers that have harmed competition.
Senator Amy Klobuchar, who is also the Chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights, announced last week that a hearing on the lack of competition in the ticketing industry will be held tomorrow (Tuesday).
Earlier this year, a North American coalition led by the American Economic Liberties Project, Consumer Federation of America and the National Consumers League, established a campaign for the break-up of Live Nation and Ticketmaster.
Another reason why The Cowen Group believes that the DOJ will be in a position to sue Live Nation and Ticketmaster is because Congress increased the department’s budget.
Should the DOJ make a move, the financial analysis company predicts that it would be a Section 2 monopoly maintenance claim. This means that the department would argue Live Nation is preserving Ticketmaster’s hefty market share through acquisitions.
Politico reported last week that Live Nation had added antitrust lobbyist Seth Bloom to its repertoire ahead of tomorrow’s hearing.