Music Advocacy Groups Call For Antitrust Investigation Of Live Nation, Liberty Media
The Artist Rights Alliance, Center for Digital Democracy, and Future of Music Coalition have joined forces to call on the House Judiciary Committee to investigate what they claim are Live Nation’s “exploitative 2021 venue policies.”
The group’s petition also singled out Live Nation investor Liberty Media for its alleged monopolistic behavior and abuses.
“In an attempt to profit off the pandemic, LiveNation has implemented unfair “take it or leave it” contract terms for 2021 that radically cut performance fees and expose artists to absurdly high penalties in the event of any pandemic-related delays or cancellations,” the organizations wrote in an open letter to the committee.
“Liberty/Live Nation should not be allowed to exploit its multi-market monopoly and impose overwhelmingly one-sided and exploitative terms on performers under cover of a worldwide pandemic emergency. Consumers in areas served by Live Nation’s huge array of venues and should not be held hostage to grotesquely overreaching corporate demands,” the letter continued.
In addition to calling on Congress to investigate the two companies, the Artist Rights Alliance has also launched a petition urging DOJ to stop Liberty Media’s planned merger with iHeartMedia which the organization says would only serve to expand their market dominance.
The full letter, via Medium:
The Honorable David Cicilline, Chairman
The Honorable Jim Sensenbrenner, Ranking Member
Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law
U.S. House of Representatives
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Cicilline and Ranking Member Sensenbrenner:
We write seeking urgent oversight of Liberty Media/Live Nation’s abusive 2021 performance terms, which would unfairly cut artist fees and shift the risk of pandemic cancellations to performers.
Live Nation is part of the Liberty Media conglomerate, which also includes the Ticketmaster monopoly, the SiriusXM satellite radio monopoly, and Pandora digital radio. Liberty is also currently seeking to acquire the massive iHeartMedia network, which ARA and leading consumer and competition watchdog groups have strongly opposed.
Liberty/Live Nation should not be allowed to exploit its multi-market monopoly and impose overwhelmingly one-sided and exploitative terms on performers under cover of a worldwide pandemic emergency. Consumers in areas served by Live Nation’s huge array of venues and should not be held hostage to grotesquely overreaching corporate demands.
Artists are organizing to resist this pressure, including by considering boycotts of Live Nation facilities. But in many areas there are no practical alternatives to Live Nation facilities. Performers there will find themselves on the horns of an impossible dilemma: either don’t appear in the region at all — disappointing fans, driving down streaming and radio play, and ceding the spotlight at enormous long term cost — or accept the crippling risk of Live Nation’s cancellation “penalties” — rolling the dice on public health conditions no one can truly control.
We urge the Committee to investigate these abuses of market power and the creative economy.
Artist Rights Alliance
Center for Digital Democracy
Future of Music Coalition