Why Live Nation Won Antitrust Lawsuit Against Ticket Buyers

Live Nation and Ticketmaster won a recent antitrust lawsuit after suing ticket buyers waived their right to sue as part of the company’s terms and conditions.

In January 2022, Live Nation Entertainment, including both Live Nation and Ticketmaster, were sued for violating antitrust laws and using the content described in the lawsuit as predatory conduct. The lawsuit, filed by attorneys for Quinn Emanuel and Keller Lenker, was the second case Quinn Emanuel sued the company in 2020 and a federal judge ruled in Ticketmaster’s favor.

The lower court ruled in Live Nation’s favor on the grounds that the customer had agreed to settle the dispute in arbitration rather than take the dispute to court under the terms of the ticket purchase. The case was eventually reopened by a federal appeals court after plaintiffs claimed the arbitration agreement was misleading because it was not clear.

In its appeal, the ticket purchasers argued that the arbitration agreement was void because they did not specify the legal name of the business entity as a party to the agreement, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In support of Live Nation, it said, “California law does not require the legal parties to an agreement to use their full legal names.” They added, “Live Nation Entertainment, Inc.” As with the arbitration clause, it was explicitly referenced many times in these Terms.

Judge Danny J. Boggs initially suggested that any dispute could be raised only with the company, but that these terms were not made sufficiently clear to the buyer and should be considered void. But in Monday’s ruling (February 13), Boggs said: Clicking this button notifies the user that they “accept the terms of use”. A reasonable user could have seen the notification and found the terms via a hyperlink. ”

He then said that while Live Nation and Ticketmaster were not making the terms as clear as possible, the visibility on the purchase site was legally “sufficient” and that “importantly, the ‘terms of use ‘ hyperlink is prominently displayed,” he added. Its bright blue font distinguishes it from the surrounding text and makes its presence instantly recognizable. ”

Therefore, the case was dismissed.

That ruling, however, does not address the litigation issue of whether Live Nation can charge inflated ticket prices through its ticketing service.

Antitrust lawsuits aside, Live Nation Entertainment recently made headlines with a US Department of Justice investigation. The Justice Department launched an antitrust investigation into the ticketing giant in November after troubled ticket sales for Taylor Swift’s tour last fall. It means that 1.5 million people signed up and were given codes, and the remaining 2 million were put on the waiting list. When the sale started, the system had 3.5 million users and the server crashed because of that volume.

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