Live Nation Entertainment and the subsidiary Ticketmaster LLC asked a United States judge to stop a proposed consumer class action lawsuit over their Taylor Swift concert ticket sales and instead force the claims to be addressed privately in arbitration.
The companies hope to avoid a lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles, California, accusing them of violating antitrust and consumer protection laws.
Demand from fans, scalpers and bots for Swift’s first tour in five years led to the collapse of the Ticketmaster site last fall and sparked new scrutiny from US lawmakers and others over what critics say is a lack of competition in the ticket sales market.
The December lawsuit alleged that the 2010 merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster eliminated competition in the market and allowed the companies to charge higher prices for Swift tickets than they otherwise could.
Companies generally favor arbitration over legal disputes to try to quickly resolve matters and limit potential damage. The antitrust cases in US courts expose a company to the possibility of tripling damages.
In its court filing Friday, the Beverly Hills-based Live Nation said the ticket buyer who brought the case “has repeatedly agreed” to arbitrate any claim arising out of its use of online ticketing systems. Ticketmaster.
Live Nation has successfully argued in other cases that users of its online ticketing platforms have agreed to arbitrate disputes. The company pointed to a Los Angeles court ruling this month by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upholding arbitration in an antitrust lawsuit against the ticket company.
Lawyers for Live Nation called the February 13 Ninth Circuit decision “binding authority” that “can and must put an end” to the Los Angeles court’s investigation.
Lawyers for the plaintiff and Live Nation did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday.
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