A federal appeals court on Monday (Feb. 13) rejected an antitrust lawsuit accusing Ticketmaster and Live Nation of exploiting its “impregnable market power” to foist inflated prices on hundreds of thousands of fans, ruling that concertgoers forfeited their right to sue when they bought their tickets.
In a 24-page ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld an earlier ruling that dismissed the proposed class action, saying that when the fans purchased their tickets, they had agreed to settle any disputes with Ticketmaster via private arbitration rather than in open court.
Live Nation Isn’t Liable for Deadly Backstage Shooting at 2014 Young Jeezy Concert…
On appeal, attorneys for the plaintiffs had challenged the validity of that agreement, arguing it had not been presented clearly enough to customers. But in Monday’s decision, the appeals court was unswayed.
The incident, which saw widespread service delays and website crashes, has prompted calls from lawmakers in Washington D.C. to break up Live Nation and Ticketmaster, which merged to create their current structure in 2010. It has also spawned investigations from attorneys general around the country and at least two antitrust class actions. The DOJ is also reportedly investigating Live Nation for antitrust violations, though the probe predated the Swift tour debacle.
The case decided on Monday was filed back in 2020 but raised similar accusations to critics who have spoken out in the wake of the Swift incident. Aiming to represent “hundreds of thousands if not millions” of customers, the proposed class action alleged that Live Nation’s dominance allowed it to increase prices for consumers and perform other “predatory acts” — calling it a “monster” that “must be stopped.”
Ticketmaster Hearing: Witnesses, Senators Push Break-Up of Live Nation at Probe on Taylor…
“Defendants’ anticompetitive scheme has been wildly successful and today threatens to put nearly all ticketing services for major concert venues (primary and secondary) in the United States under Ticketmaster’s monopolistic thumb,” the accusers wrote in their April 2020 complaint.
But the case was quickly tossed out. A federal judge ruled in 2021 that Live Nation and Ticketmaster users had clearly assented to a form of so-called clickwrap agreement — a common online tool that presents users with terms of service before proceeding — that required them to resolve any such claims against Live Nation via a private arbitration process.
Monday’s ruling upheld that decision for Live Nation. The appeals court said the company’s agreement was not the kind of “pure clickwrap” that offers users the clearest presentation of terms of service, but the court said it also was not “browsewrap” — a less effective form of user agreement where terms are “hidden in links located at the bottom of webpages.” Whatever the format, the appeals court said Live Nation’s version “did enough” to pass legal muster.
The ruling will effectively end the current case, but a second similar lawsuit against Live Nation (filed by the same team of attorneys from the law firm Quinn Emmanuel) based on slightly tweaked allegations is still pending in a lower federal court.
Both a representative for Live Nation and an attorney for the plaintiffs did not immediately return a request for comment on the Ninth Circuit’s ruling.
Olivia Wilde shared her wild thoughts on Rihanna‘s epic Super Bowl halftime show — and A$AP Rocky‘s role as supportive partner — on Monday (Feb. 13). “My only vibe from here on out,” the Don’t Worry Darling director wrote on her Instagram Story above a shot of Rihanna posing among her white-clad backup dancers during her performance. Related A Timeline of A$AP Rocky & Rihanna’s Relationship 02/13/2023 However, it was a […]
Post comments (0)