The U.S. Department of Justice said Monday that Endeavor chief executive Ari Emanuel and entertainment group chairman Mark Shapiro have resigned from Live Nation’s board after expressing concerns over the overlap of the two. companies.
The Justice Department, which stepped up its antitrust scrutiny under the Biden administration, mentionned Monday that Endeavor and Live Nation were in close competition in the sports and entertainment markets. Both companies sell tickets and do not qualify for certain antitrust havens.
“These resignations ensure that Endeavor and Live Nation will compete independently,” said Richard Powers, acting deputy attorney general for the Department of Justice for anti-competition.
“Executives are not allowed to sit on the board of directors of competing companies. The division will enforce antitrust laws to ensure that all companies compete on the merits. ”
June 3, Live Nation mentionned Emanuel was resigning from his board, but gave no indication of pressure from the Justice Department. Shapiro was re-elected to the board earlier this month and still registered as a member on Live Nation website starting Monday.
Live Nation, an event promoter that owns the Ticketmaster platform, declined to comment. Endeavor said, “While there has been no violation of the law, we understand and respect the DOJ’s concerns about the current similarities in our business.”
Effort became public in April. The company was founded by Emanuel in 1995 as an arts agency and later bought out rival William Morris Agency. But it grew into a full-fledged entertainment and sports company, purchasing the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the Miss Universe beauty pageant, alongside other companies.
Live Nation, which struggled during the pandemic, installed with justice in 2019 on antitrust issues. The DoJ had investigated Live Nation, fearing it had tried to pressure concert halls to use its Ticketmaster sites over other ticketing platforms.
The Biden administration has indicated it will take a tougher approach to antitrust enforcement.
Biden enlisted the help of 32-year-old Lina Khan a review of big tech companies, head of the Federal Trade Commission. Tim Wu, leading critic of Big Tech groups, joined the White House in March as a competition policy adviser, a move that signaled to Silicon Valley that Biden hoped to tame America’s most valuable companies.