COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENT LIABILITIES
|9 Months Ended|
Sep. 30, 2022
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENT LIABILITIES||COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENT LIABILITIES
As of September 30, 2022, we have non-cancelable contracts related to minimum performance payments with various artists, other event-related costs and nonrecoupable ticketing contract advances of approximately $3.9 billion.
Consumer Class Actions
The following putative class action lawsuits were filed against Live Nation and/or Ticketmaster in Canada: Thompson-Marcial and Smith v. Ticketmaster Canada Holdings ULC (Ontario Superior Court of Justice, filed September 2018); McPhee v. Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., et al. (Superior Court of Quebec, District of Montreal, filed September 2018); Crystal Watch v. Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., et al. (Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan, by amendments filed September 2018); and Gomel v. Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., et al. (Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver Registry, filed October 2018). Similar putative class actions were filed in the United States during the same time period, but as of November 2020, each of the lawsuits filed in the United States has been dismissed with prejudice.
The Canadian lawsuits make similar factual allegations that Live Nation and/or Ticketmaster engage in conduct that is intended to encourage the resale of tickets on secondary ticket exchanges at elevated prices. Based on these allegations, each plaintiff asserts violations of different provincial and federal laws. Each plaintiff also seeks to represent a class of individuals who purchased tickets on a secondary ticket exchange, as defined in each plaintiff’s complaint. The Watch complaint also makes claims related to Ticketmaster’s fee display practices on the primary market. The complaints seek a variety of remedies, including unspecified compensatory damages, punitive damages, restitution, injunctive relief and attorneys’ fees and costs.
The McPhee matter is stayed pending the outcome of the Watch matter, and the Thompson-Marcial, Watch, and Gomel cases are in the class certification phase. In April 2021, the court in the Gomel lawsuit refused to certify all claims other than those pled under British Columbia’s Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act and claims for punitive damages, but the court did certify a class of British Columbia residents who purchased tickets to an event in Canada on any secondary market exchange from June 30, 2015 through April 15, 2021 that were initially purchased on Ticketmaster.ca. We filed a notice of appeal of the class certification ruling in May 2021, and the plaintiff filed a cross-appeal shortly thereafter.
Based on information presently known to management, we do not believe that a loss is probable of occurring at this time, and we believe that the potential liability, if any, will not have a material adverse effect on our financial position, cash flows or results of operations. Further, we do not currently believe that the claims asserted in these lawsuits have merit, and considerable uncertainty exists regarding any monetary damages that will be asserted against us. We continue to vigorously defend these actions.
On November 5, 2021, the Astroworld music festival was held in Houston, Texas. During the course of the festival, ten members of the audience sustained fatal injuries and others suffered non-fatal injuries. Following these events, approximately 450 civil lawsuits have been filed against Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. and related entities, asserting insufficient crowd control and other theories, seeking compensatory and punitive damages. Pursuant to a February 14, 2022 order of the state Multidistrict Litigation Panel, matter 21-1033, the civil cases have been assigned to Judge Kristen Hawkins of the 11th District Court of Harris County, Texas, for oversight of pretrial matters under Texas’s rules governing multidistrict litigation. Discovery is underway. A confidential settlement was reached with the family of one of the deceased plaintiffs, and the family’s case was dismissed with prejudice against all defendants in August 2022.
We are currently unable to reliably predict the developments in, outcome of, and economic costs and other consequences of pending or future litigation related to these matters. We will continue to investigate the factual and legal defenses, and evaluate these matters based on subsequent events, new information and future circumstances. We currently expect that liability insurance can provide sufficient coverage, but at this time there are no assurances of such coverage. Given that these cases are in the early stages and in light of the uncertainties surrounding them, we do not currently possess sufficient information to determine a range of reasonably possible liability. Notwithstanding the foregoing, and without admitting liability or wrongdoing, we may incur material liabilities from the 2021 Astroworld event, which could have a material impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and/or cash flows.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef