Wisconsin joins Department of Justice in suing 'Live Nation'

NOW: Wisconsin joins Department of Justice in suing ’Live Nation’

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin is one of 30 states joining the U.S. Department of Justice suing "Live Nation" claiming the music promoter aligned with Ticketmaster has violated the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and must be broken up.

The Department of Justice spent years investigating allegations against Live Nation, but it wasn't complete until after last year's giant fiasco affecting Taylor Swift fans put a giant spotlight on the industry.

Jennifer Kinder represents over 350 individual lawsuits across the country, including two in Wisconsin, her clients are Taylor Swifts fans fighting back.

"In some small way, in some small piece, they have made an impact and have some sort of influence on the Dept. of Justice decision to go forward with this lawsuit," said Jennifer Kinder, Attorney, Kinder Law PLLC.

Kinder's clients hope the DOJ lawsuit will make things right.

"We just couldn't be more elated to know that we now have a partner in this fight against corporate corruption," said Kinder.

In the 124-page complaint, the DOJ refers to Live Nation Ticketmaster as a "monopolist" and "gatekeeper" for the delivery of nearly all live music in America today "to the detriment of fans, artists, venues, and competition."

"It is time to break up Live Nation Ticketmaster," said Merrick Garland, Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice.

The lawsuit claims Live Nation's "anticompetitive conduct" has "harmed fans in the form of more and higher fees."

"It was a mess. It was a farce, and it was stressful, and it was very costly," said Diane Douglas, a Swiftie from Mequon who is suing Ticketmaster.

Diane Douglas paid an exorbitant amount for Eras Tour tickets - a graduation gift she'd promised her granddaughter. Although she should've been able to purchase tickets through her Capital One connection, she says she was repeatedly shut out of the Ticketmaster website, and ultimately had no choice but to buy tickets through a third-party vendor at four times the face value of the tickets.

"It's a promise and Ticketmaster let us down," said Douglas.

"What we care about is not necessarily the Eras Tour ticket sale, what we care about is a fair experience for everyone," said Kinder.

"It's out of control. They need to reign it in and I'm glad they're doing something," said Douglas.

Following the DOJ's announcement Thursday, Live Nation said this lawsuit won't reduce ticket prices or service fees and claims it's only distracting from real solutions that would decrease prices and protect fans like letting artists cap resale prices.

The full DOJ lawsuit can be found here.

Live Nation's response can be found here.

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