Endeavor Executives Resign from Live Nation Board of Directors after Justice Department Expresses Antitrust Concerns
The Department of Justice announced today that two executives of Endeavor Group Holdings Inc. – Chief Executive Officer and Director Ariel Emanuel, and President Mark Shapiro – have resigned their positions on the Live Nation Entertainment Inc. Board of Directors after the department expressed concerns that their positions on the Live Nation Board created an illegal interlocking directorate. An interlocking directorate is where one person – or an agent of one person or company – serves as an officer or director of two companies. Section 8 of the Clayton Act prohibits the same person or company from serving as an officer or director of two competing companies, except under certain defined safe harbors.
Endeavor and Live Nation compete closely in many sports and entertainment markets. Both Live Nation and Endeavor, through its wholly owned and minority owned subsidiaries, promote and sell tickets and VIP packages that include tickets, lodging and travel accommodations, to live music, sporting and other entertainment events. Based on U.S. revenues, the interlock did not qualify for any of the Section 8 safe harbors.
“These resignations ensure that Endeavor and Live Nation will compete independently,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Powers of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “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.”
Section 8 imposes bright line prohibitions designed to prevent harm from competitors having overlapping directors or managers, regardless of whether any anticompetitive conduct actually occurs. Interlocking directorates can restrict competition by providing a conduit for the exchange of competitively sensitive information and by facilitating coordination between competing companies. By eliminating the opportunity to coordinate – explicitly or implicitly – through interlocking directorates, Section 8 prevents violations of the antitrust laws before they occur.
Endeavor Group Holdings Inc. is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Beverly Hills, California. Among other things, it owns various sports and entertainment properties; produces, promotes, and tickets sports and entertainment events; and represents entertainers and athletes.
Live Nation Entertainment Inc. is also a Delaware corporation headquartered in Beverly Hills, California. It is a leading producer and operator of live music concerts. Live Nation also is a leading live entertainment ticketing and marketing company.