Today on Lever Time, a musician and an antitrust expert debate whether a potential breakup of Ticketmaster and Live Nation would really improve an inequitable music industry.

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Is Ticketmaster too big to fail? It’s the question some musicians and small venue owners are asking in the wake of the Justice Department’s decision to sue Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation Entertainment over its alleged monopoly in the music industry. Today on Lever Time, Morgan Harper, an antitrust expert, and Greg Saunier, founder of the indie band Deerhoof, debate the strength of the Justice Department’s case, and whether a win in court would meaningfully benefit musicians, independent music venues, and fans themselves. 

Ticketmaster has drawn the ire of musicians for decades. In 1994, members of the rock band Pearl Jam went to Congress alleging Ticketmaster was engaged in price gouging — but nothing happened. Instead, the government allowed Ticketmaster to grow even bigger, giving it massive influence over most of the music industry, gouging customers, and strong-arming musicians into signing away the rights for their tours.

You can read a transcript of this episode here

▶️ This week on Lever Time Premium, exclusively for paid subscribers, Arjun Singh sits down with Luke and Brody Mullins, the sibling reporting team behind the new book The Wolves of K Street: The Secret History of How Big Money Took Over Big Government.