Live Nation Retreats as Regulators Turn Focus to Ticketed Events
(Bloomberg) -- Live Nation Entertainment Inc., the producer of live concerts, may have to bask in a different kind of spotlight, as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has now shifted its attention to the integrity of the events ticketing business.
“The Commission has a strong interest in protecting consumer confidence in the online marketplace,” the agency said in a statement Thursday. In an effort to draw answers, the FTC will host a workshop in March to examine “problematic practices” of the industry.
The Beverly Hills, California-based company has since denied the allegations. Shares Thursday staged their biggest decline since April, down as much as as 7.3 percent, although they remain 23 percent higher for the year-to-date.
An FTC hearing “poses little near-term risk” to Live Nation, wrote Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matthew Kanterman in a note. In fact, the issues at hand could be a positive for the company “as it’ll be easier to get tickets to real fans and deepen its relationship with artists, bolstering its concerts business,” he said.
The FTC, in its statement, detailed its interest in addressing complaints from consumers and competitors, including practices that prevent concertgoers from buying tickets, actions that mislead consumers about price or availability, or mislead buyers about the entity from which they are buying.
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