Letitia James and Republicans share common enemy in new lawsuit

New York Attorney General Letitia James has joined 29 other state and district attorneys general in the Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit against Ticketmaster, accusing the entertainment ticket giant of creating an illegal monopoly over live events and concerts in the United States.

The suit, which was released Thursday, alleges the ticket distribution company and its parent entity, Live Nation Entertainment, of being the “gatekeeper for the delivery of nearly all live music in America.” The legal action comes after Live Nation faced scrutiny from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle during a congressional hearing in January 2023 over Ticketmaster’s systemic failure in selling tickets to Taylor Swift‘s The Eras Tour.

The DOJ lawsuit has also earned bipartisan backing from state attorneys general across the nation, including some Republican prosecutors who have vocally supported former President Donald Trump amid James’ business fraud suit against him. In a statement posted to X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday morning, James, a Democrat, accused Live Nation and Ticketmaster of “abusing” their power and hurting consumers in the process.

New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House on January 15 in New York City. James is among 30 state prosecutors across the U.S. who joined the Justice Department’s lawsuit…

Jason Mendez/Getty Images for BAM Brooklyn Academy of Music

“For too long, @LiveNation and @Ticketmaster have illegally run the world of concerts and live events, monopolizing the industry and forcing people to pay more for concerts and sports games,” James wrote. “It’s time for a new era: My office, @TheJusticeDept, and a group of 29 AGs are suing.”

“When companies abuse their power, it creates bad blood and fans pay the price,” James said in a following post. “Everybody agrees, @LiveNation and @Ticketmaster are the problem.”

James has faced immense pressure from the GOP since filing her lawsuit against Trump, which ultimately led to the former president and others in The Trump Organization to be found liable of defrauding insurers and lenders.

James’ lawsuit was also included in a U.S. Supreme Court brief written in March by Republican Attorney General Steve Marshall, who expressed support for Trump amid his pending presidential immunity case before the High Court. In a press release attached to the 54-page brief, Marshall wrote that James “appears dead set on bankrupting the former President,” arguing Trump is only facing legal challenges because he is running for reelection against President Joe Biden.

That brief was backed by 17 other Republican attorneys general, including some who joined the DOJ’s lawsuit against Live Nation. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said in her own statement to X Thursday afternoon that her office was “taking legal action against @LiveNation’s monopoly in the music industry.”

Another state prosecutor included in Marshall’s brief, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, also wrote on X that Live Nation and Ticketmaster had participated in “illegal monopolistic practices that have stifled competition and harmed consumers and businesses across the live entertainment industry.”

The DOJ is seeking dismantle Live Nation’s so-called monopoly by demanding that the company divests from Ticketmaster and “any additional relief as needed to cure any anticompetitive harm.” Its suit also orders Live Nation to end its ticketing agreement with Oak View Group, a live entertainment company that prosecutors allege has been exploited by Live Nation.

Newsweek reached out to Live Nation via email Thursday evening for comment on the DOJ lawsuit.