A new lawsuit brought against Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation this week accuses the concert giant of strongarming venues by withholding artists, wielding undue influence over secondary markets, and more. The major class action suit represents “hundreds of thousands if not millions” of customers in California, Florida, and Ohio who bought concert tickets from Live Nation/Ticketmaster since last July.

The complaint, obtained by Rolling Stone, was filed in federal court in Los Angeles, CA on January 4th and is a follow-up to a previous suit. That previous suit, also brought by Quinn Emanuel and Keller Lenkner, accused the merged company Live Nation Entertainment of predatory practices and was forced into arbitration. A judge in that case who ruled in favor of LNE stated that “when plaintiffs purchased their tickets, they had agreed to settle any disputes with Ticketmaster via private arbitration rather than in open court”.

Emanuel and Lenkner’s new suit says that Live Nation forces “aggrieved consumers” into “batched arbitration proceedings” that are “one-sided.” In addition to those new arbitration claims, the new suit also alleges that Live Nation “engaged in predatory and exclusionary conduct to monopolize the primary ticketing services market and to extend their dominance into the secondary ticketing services market.”

“Plaintiff’s attorneys have made prior, unsuccessful attempts to bring nearly identical class actions. We are confident in the judicial process,” a representative for Live Nation Entertainment said in a statement sent to Rolling Stone on Wednesday.

The complaint also alleges that Live Nation uses its massive catalog of artists to intimidate venues into ticketing exclusively with Ticketmaster, threatening to pass up certain venues on an artist’s next tour. These claims are nothing new and in 2019 led to an extension of the consent decree between Live Nation Entertainment and the Department of Justice that allowed the companies to merge back in 2010. That extension of another five-and-a-half years with the DOJ was intended to include further government oversight over the behemoth’s business practices. The plaintiffs argue that the public only recently became aware of how Live Nation has “shamelessly violated its terms for years.”

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“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 complaint reads.

The new suit also takes aim at Live Nation Entertainment’s influence over the secondary market. The suit claims Ticketmaster and Live Nation “force secondary ticket brokers into agreeing to exclusively use Ticketmaster’s secondary ticketing platform” if they want to buy in bulk.

“If the broker does not agree, then Ticketmaster will use the conditional license to try and keep the broker off its platform,” the lawsuit claims. “It is able to do so with impunity because of the power Ticketmaster holds over the supply of primary tickets at major concert venues, and because Live Nation Entertainment, as the dominant concert promoter in the nation, controls the vast bulk of major concert tours.”

The court has not yet ruled whether this new suit will be diverted into arbitration.

[H/T Rolling Stone]