RadioandMusic
| 12 Dec 2018
Songkick Sues Live Nation and Ticketmaster; says it misuses its market power

MUMBAI: Concert discovery platform Songkick is suing concert promotions and ticketing companies Live Nation and Ticketmaster, respectively. Songkick has accused Live Nation and Ticketmaster of antitrust violations, anticompetitive behaviour, and intentional interference. The complainant has stated that Live Nation and Ticketmaster attempted to destroy competition in the artist presale ticketing services market. Songkick accuses Live Nation of applying behind-the-scenes pressure on musicians not to do business with Songkick and use Live Nation’s fan-club system instead.

The 68-page complaint was filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court of Central California in Los Angeles. Songkick has alleged that Live Nation and Ticketmaster undertook a concerted effort to affects its business, and that the two companies use dominant positions in the live event and ticketing industries.

To back it claims, Songkick has cited industry data that shows that 70 percent of ticket sales come through Ticketmaster.com. Live Nation accounts for more than 60 percent of the concert promotion services market and it had promoted 22 of the top 25 global tours in 2014. It also claims that Ticketmaster's vast profitability allows Live Nation to make loss-leading offers to potential clients, which freeze out competitors.

Songkick’s complaint also mentions Live Nation director and CEO Michael Rapino thirteen times, stating that the executive personally and repeatedly engaged in anticompetitive acts giving rise to this complaint.

A large portion of Songkick's complaint focuses on a fan club policy which was initiated by Ticketmaster. It has been a long-established practice for artists to receive an allotment of tickets with which they can then sell. In the US, for concert tickets, tour promoters typically allow the artist to sell 8 percent to 9 percent of their own tickets, which is more in other countries. This case highlights the value of the international touring market, which is artist’s major income source.

Songkick, which was founded in 2007, has worked with artists like Adele, Paul McCartney, Ellie Goulding, Jackson Browne, Miranda Lambert and Ricky Martin.

Live Nation, which is world’s largest concert promoter, declined to comment. According to company reports, in 2014, its Ticketmaster division sold $23 billion in tickets.