The DOJ suggested that their positions on the board created an “interlocking directorate,” where one person serves as an officer of director of two companies.
In a statement, Richard A. Powers, acting assistant attorney general, said, “These resignations ensure that Endeavor and Live Nation will compete independently,. Executives are not permitted to hold board positions on companies that compete with each other. The division will enforce the antitrust laws to make sure that all companies compete on the merits.”
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The DOJ noted that both Live Nation and Endeavor have subsidiaries that promote and sell tickets to live music, sports and entertainment events. Endeavor’s companies include IMG, UFC and PBR in addition to WME.
Live Nation’s market position has come under increasing scrutiny in Washington. In April, a group of House Democrats called on the DOJ and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the 2010 merger of Live Nation with Ticketmaster. They argued that the company has a has a “near monopoly on the primary sale of tickets,” and that it “has tightened its grasp on the secondary market, making it one of the largest ticket resellers in the United States.”
The DOJ already had concluded that Live Nation violated restrictions that were placed on the 2010 merger, and reached a settlement in 2019 that extended a consent decree through the middle of the decade.
A Live Nation spokesperson did not have any comment, but noted that Emanuel resigned from the Live Nation board on June 4, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. An Endeavor spokesperson said, “While there has been no violation of law, we understand and respect the DOJ’s concerns regarding the current similarities of our businesses.”
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