In our latest Liberty Update, we highlight how Americans have soured on "Bidenomics" despite Biden supporters…
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Image of the Day: Minorities Prospered Far More Under Trump

In our latest Liberty Update, we highlight how Americans have soured on "Bidenomics" despite Biden supporters' ongoing insistence that voters trust them rather than over three years of actual, real-life experience and hardship.  Well, our friends at the Committee to Unleash Prosperity have highlighted another point that merits emphasis as minorities turn against Biden in his reelection effort.  Namely, they prospered far more under President Trump than President Biden:

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="691"] Minorities Prospered Far More Under Trump Than Biden[/caption]

 …[more]

June 09, 2024 • 10:40 PM

Liberty Update

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Biden DOJ Lawsuit Against Live Nation-Ticketmaster Reveals Its Desperation Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, May 30 2024
Live Nation’s net profit over the recent fiscal year hovered around 1%. That’s hardly the sort of margin that one might expect from a monopoly meriting the sort of persecution that Biden’s DOJ now directs its way.

With Memorial Day now behind us and November’s presidential election increasingly within view, electoral trends are becoming increasingly obvious and Joe Biden’s desperation increasingly transparent.  

Biden hasn’t led Donald Trump in the RealClearPolitics aggregate of polls in nearly nine months, since September 10, 2023.  

In some instances, Biden’s desperate maneuvers provide relatively harmless if tacky humor, as we witnessed this week when he dispatched unhinged actor Robert DeNiro as his proxy outside the New York courthouse where Trump’s trial is taking place.  

In other instances, however, Biden’s increasingly desperate maneuvers pose real danger for American consumers and the economy.  

Last week we witnessed the latter sort of example when Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it was suing to break up entertainment company Live Nation-Ticketmaster.  

If at this point you could swear that the DOJ blessed the same Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger it now seeks to unravel not long ago, you’re correct.  In its infinite wisdom, however, Biden’s DOJ has decided that there’s no time to waste in reversing course.  

Actually, wisdom has nothing to do with it.  At this point the Biden administration is throwing everything against the proverbial wall in the hope that something, anything, finally sticks.  

The most ironic dynamic at play here is the fact that this sort of heavy-handed administrative action by the Biden administration is what has created economic volatility, which in turn remains the leading reason for Biden’s unprecedented unpopularity and electoral desperation.  

As one illustration of the baselessness of this latest lawsuit, Ticketmaster’s market share has measurably declined in the years since the DOJ originally blessed its merger with Live Nation, from approximately 80% to under 70% today.  Market competition has therefore increased during the lifetime of Live Nation-Ticketmaster, yet now the Biden administration decides that it’s time to inject its trademark volatility and disruption into the market?  

Here’s another metric demonstrating the absurdity of the DOJ’s latest crusade.  Far from standing as some sort of mega-profitable market titan, Live Nation’s net profit over the recent fiscal year hovered around 1%.  That’s hardly the sort of margin that one might expect from a monopoly meriting the sort of persecution that Biden’s DOJ now directs its way.  For comparison, the net profit margin for Meta (Facebook) was 29.8%, while Apple’s was 25.3% and Alphabet (Google) claimed a 24% margin.  

For anyone with a working knowledge of the entertainment industry and live event economics, those profit margin realities will come as no surprise.  That’s because contrary to the popular misconception of ticketing companies like Live Nation-Ticketmaster hoarding dollars, the gross receipts from tickets sold are divided between the performing artists themselves, promoters’ fees, the hosting venues, shared show costs and then the ticketing companies themselves.   According to Live Nation-Ticketmaster, for a typical $100 face value arena ticket, the performing artists claim $65, with $28 going to shared show costs and $7 to promoters.  After that, another $23 goes to the hosting venue, with a comparatively minor $7 going to the ticketing company.   

Those market realities are among the reasons why the DOJ’s lawsuit should be rejected in court.  The Biden administration has suffered an embarrassing string of court defeats in similar suits, particularly when brought by the DOJ and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) under radical activist chair Lina Khan.  If the popular definition of “insanity” is repeating the same fruitless behavior while expecting a different result, the activist Biden administration offers the best illustration of that adage in recent memory.  

More broadly, ticketing companies like Live Nation-Ticketmaster serve an important market purpose by protecting performing artists’ right to choose how tickets to their own performances are sold.  Namely, they help guarantee that everyday fans get to actually see their favorite artists perform, as opposed to other brokers hoarding tickets for resale at inflated premiums to high-dollar corporate buyers.  

That’s of little import to the Biden administration, however.  While it claims to be looking out for the little guy in this transparent attempt to gain some sort of electoral traction, everyday fans will suffer the most to the extent that Live Nation-Ticketmaster is impacted by the DOJ’s misguided lawsuit.  

Judicial resources and litigation costs shouldn’t be wasted simply because the Biden administration refuses to learn the repeated lessons of its accumulating legal rebukes.  We can at least be thankful, however, that the judicial branch continues to provide that critical bulwark.

Notable Quote   
 
"The FBI learned as far back as 2016 that Hunter Biden and his partners had plotted to set up a new venture in tax-friendly Liechtenstein that would be capitalized by a whopping $120 million investment from the controversial owner of the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings, according to documents obtained by Just the News that have been kept from the American public for eight years.The mega-deal…[more]
 
 
— John Solomon and Steven Richards, Just the News
 
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