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NH joins Live Nation lawsuit

The exterior of the SNHU Arena in Manchester.
Dan Tuohy
NHPR File Photo
Live Nation controls ticket sales of some of the state’s largest venues, including BankNH Pavilion in Gilford and SNHU Arena in Manchester, pictured here.

This story was originally produced by the New Hampshire Bulletin, an independent local newsroom that allows NHPR and other outlets to republish its reporting.

New Hampshire is one of 29 states and the District of Columbia that have signed on to a federal lawsuit against Ticketmaster, alleging its practices have hurt consumers and venues by monopolizing the live entertainment industry.

“Live Nation must be held accountable,” Attorney General John Formella said in a statement, naming Ticketmaster’s parent company. “For too long, New Hampshire’s live entertainment market has been stifled by a lack of competition, leading to exorbitant fees and limited choices for fans. This lawsuit is a step towards ensuring fair play and transparency in the industry, allowing consumers to enjoy their favorite live events without being overcharged.”

The U.S. Department of Justice filed the lawsuit Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Long-standing complaints about Ticketmaster’s practices hit a peak in 2022 when its botched rollout of Taylor Swift tickets led to a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the company’s role in the ticketing industry.

New Hampshire lawmakers have tried and failed twice in the last two years to stop ticket scalping by capping resale price to a ticket’s face value. The Senate tabled the most recent bill last month.

In a statement announcing the lawsuit, Formella noted that Live Nation controls ticket sales of some of the state’s largest venues, including BankNH Pavilion in Gilford and SNHU Arena in Manchester.

“Live Nation’s dominance has particularly impacted fans who attend shows at New Hampshire venues,” Formella said. “Ticketmaster sales data shows that these fans are subject to some of the highest markup rates in the nation when it comes to the face value of a ticket versus the actual price after fees and costs are included.”

The lawsuit asks the court to prohibit Live Nation from engaging in its anticompetitive practices; divest Ticketmaster; and secure financial compensation for New Hampshire, as well as for fans who were overcharged by Live Nation, leading them to pay more than they would have in a competitive market for tickets.

New Hampshire Bulletin is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. New Hampshire Bulletin maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Dana Wormald for questions: Follow New Hampshire Bulletin on Facebook and Twitter.

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