Will New Antitrust Leadership Impact the LiveNation Ticketmaster Merger?


Will you trust the U.S. Department of Justice to govern your live concert experiences?

Things have been fairly quite recently on the congressional front regarding the LiveNation Ticketmaster merger. But yesterday I saw this news story come across my Twitter update feed. It came curtosity of @concertinfo who was Retweeting Alfred Branch Jr’s  Ticketnews story.  Branch was reporting on the speech given by Christine Varney, the new head of the Antitrust Division  of the U.S. Department of Justice

As Branch reports, among other points during her speech,Varney laid out her plan to do things differently and start by no longer following the:

“Competition and Monopoly: Single-Firm Conduct Under Section 2 of the Sherman Act,” because it “raised too many hurdles to government antitrust enforcement and favored extreme caution and the development of safe harbors for certain conduct, according to Varney.”

Most of the focus and response to Varney’s speech was on the removal of the Section 2 report as it signals a “shift in philosophy,”  which experts say will let concert fans and every one else know how seriously the AntiTrust division is approaching the LiveNation-Ticketmaster merger case. 

It’s a timely update to keep the status of the merger on our radar. But the full effect of Varney’s plan still needs to be implemented inorder to see whether or not she’ll make a positive impact on the merger.   And for the record, Verney has a long history of work in internet policy, has links back to the Clinton Administration and was part of the Obama transition Team.

While the merger story unfolds, one of the next steps we can take as concert fans is to keep an eye on what Varney does next and watch what happens during the Ticket Summit in Las Vegas July 15-17th as the industry convenes to discuss the merger and other ticket-related biz.

What are your thoughts on Verney’s plan?  Will this be good for live music fans?

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