Web Stories Tuesday, June 25

(Reuters) -The U.S. Department of Justice and a group of states will sue Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE:) for antitrust violations and could seek remedies including breaking up the company, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday.

The Justice Department has been investigating Ticketmaster’s domination of concert ticket sales, sources have previously told Reuters. Bloomberg said the lawsuit is expected to be filed in the Southern District of New York on Thursday.

The legal action underscores the aggressive approach President Joe Biden’s antitrust enforcers have adopted as they seek to create more competition in a wide range of industries from Big Tech to healthcare to groceries.

Live Nation came under fire in 2022 after Ticketmaster botched the sale of tickets to Taylor Swift’s 2023 tour. U.S. senators in January 2023 slammed Live Nation’s lack of transparency and inability to block bot purchases of tickets, in a hearing called after the ticket sales fiasco.

In the lawsuit, the DOJ’s options range from requiring the company to stop illegal behavior, a common request, to asking a court to break it up, which is rare.

The Justice Department approved Ticketmaster’s merger with Live Nation in 2010, a deal that was controversial at the time.

In 2020, a court extended most of its oversight of the merger to 2025 because, the department said, Ticketmaster retaliated against stadiums and arenas that opted to use other ticketing companies.

Live Nation did not immediately respond to a request for comment but has said in the past that it was confident its business practices were legal, and that the probe had been prompted by complaints from rivals, including re-sellers.

Live Nation’s shares fell 7% after the bell. The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

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