U.S. Justice Dept. Launches Suit Against NCC Partner

The National Capital Commission’s new live entertainment partner is the subject of an anti-trust lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Justice into monopolistic practices by Live Nation and Ticketmaster.

The U.S. government action suit was launched three weeks ago. This week the NCC leased a venue at Rideau and Sussex Streets to Live Nation to be converted from being a former Chapters bookstore into medium-sized concert hall.

“This new state-of-the-art live music and entertainment venue in the heart of downtown will be a great destination for residents and visitors, contribute to increased economic activity for local restaurants and shops, and generate vibrancy and excitement for the National Capital Region as a whole,” NCC chief executive officer Tobi Nussbaum said this week

Nussbaum said the NCC is working with “local partners” to create this new venue to help stimulate Ottawa’s troubled core. But in fact Live Nation Canada is part of a multi-national conglomerate that has been under investigation by the U.S. DOJ for a considerable time. The justice department announced the government lawsuit three weeks ago, long before the NCC released the Live Nation deal to the public this week.

In a Wednesday press release the NCC called the company “a global entertainment leader.”

Wayne Zronik, President of Business Operations, Live Nation Canada said in the same release that: “This new establishment will undoubtedly become a cornerstone of the local entertainment scene and a beloved destination for years to come.”

In fact, the new venue is located along Confederation Boulevard, the high-profile ceremonial roadway that links together major national sites in the national capital region.

Below is a news conference held by the DOJ that outlines the parametres of the lawsuit aimed at Live Nation and Ticketmaster.

Justice Department announces lawsuit to break up Ticketmaster parent company, Live Nation

This is the news conference by the U.S. Department of Justice into the business practices of Live Nation and Ticketmaster publicly released by ABC News.


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4 Responses

  1. Kosmo says:

    Isn’t there enough criminals in the Byward Market?

  2. sisco farraro says:

    I have cursed Ticketmaster for years (since this is a family show I won’t go into the specific expletives used). I am grateful that someone is finally going to bury these creeps.

  3. The Voter says:

    How often does the Attorney-General himself announce a lawsuit the DoJ is launching? That alone tells you it’s big. You also know that this wouldn’t be happening without a lot of background work so that they are very, very sure that their case is solid.

    I wonder how ‘final’ the deal is that the NCC has signed with this organization. Maybe the Night Mayor’s first assignment can be doing whatever has to be done to shut that deal down. I would hope that the Canadian anti-trust people are on the trail of this mega-corp as well. It would make sense for the legal forces in Canada and the US to work together as well as with other countries where Live Nation and its tentacle-like subsidiaries operate.

    I wonder also if Live Nation demanded that the Rideau Street deal be kept quiet until it was finalized so that members of the local music community would have no chance to raise objections before it was too late. The practices of TicketMaster and Live Nation have affected enough local musicians that Tobi Nussbaum would have gotten an earful.

    How open was the process that the NCC used? Did local people have an opportunity to put proposals forward? There are people in Ottawa who could have made a deal to operate that facility. Was that an option?

  4. Ken Gray says:

    The Voter:

    Great comment. I would like to know the machinations behind this and what Nussbaum is doing to make this right and reassure the NCC does what’s right rather than what’s wrong.
    This is a bad ethical slip up.



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