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Law firm files class action over allegations Live Nation breached its Ticketmaster consent decree

By | Published on Wednesday 9 May 2018

Live Nation

A New York-based law firm has confirmed it has filed a class action lawsuit against Live Nation on behalf of shareholders in the live music giant.

The Klein Law Firm litigation relates to allegations that Live Nation has breached the terms of the ‘consent decree’ agreement it entered into with the US Department Of Justice back in 2010, when the tour promoter and venue operator merged with Ticketmaster.

How the different divisions of Live Nation interact in the US has come under new scrutiny of late, especially since a New York Times report which reckoned that DoJ officials are investigating whether the live music firm is complying with its 2010 commitments.

That report also contained allegations from Live Nation’s rivals that Ticketmaster exploits its parent company’s dominance in touring to secure extra business. Those are allegations strongly denied by Live Nation, with Ticketmaster President Jared Smith penning a lengthy response to the Times article.

The new class action seeks to represent investors who bought shares in Live Nation between February 2017 and March 2018, ie just before the publication of the Times report.

The law firm said in a statement that its legal action “alleges that throughout the class period, defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that (1) the company failed to abide by the terms of the consent decree; (2) the company lacked adequate internal controls to prevent a violation of the consent decree; (3) as a result of the foregoing, the company’s financial statements and statements about Live Nation’s business, operations, and prospects, were materially false and misleading at all relevant times”.

The lawyers go on: “On April 1, 2018, the New York Times reported that the US Department Of Justice is investigating whether certain of Live Nation’s business practices are in violation of a consent decree negotiated in connection with the approval of Live Nation’s 2010 merger with Ticketmaster. The article reported that officials at the Department Of Justice ‘have been reviewing complaints that Live Nation…has used its control over concert tours to pressure venues into contracting with its subsidiary, Ticketmaster'”.

It’s not clear how many investors The Klein Law Firm is representing or seeks to represent in this case. It is definitely encouraging additional class members to come forward. It’s statement added: “Shareholders have until June 18, 2018 to petition the court for lead plaintiff status. Your ability to share in any recovery does not require that you serve as lead plaintiff”.

Klein isn’t the first US law firm to say it is investigating the consent decree allegations made against Live Nation with a view to pursuing legal action on behalf of investors. It remains to be seen if this litigation gains any momentum.