In a prime example of the saying “always read the terms and conditions” that hits home for concertgoers, Live Nation and Ticketmaster were freed from the threat of a lawsuit from unhappy customers because they clicked the button to accept the corporations’ terms of the agreement.

The companies were accused of using “impregnable market power” to secure their position at the expense of reasonable prices and competition to ticket buyers in a proposed action filed in 2020. The claim had previously been dismissed, but lawyers had filed an appeal, Billboard reported.

The antitrust argument laid before Judge Danny J. Boggs was that, while the terms stated that any dispute could only be taken up with the corporations and not via court action, those terms were not made clear enough to buyers and therefore should be regarded as invalid.

However, in a decision handed down this week, Judge Boggs wrote, “At three independent stages – when creating an account, signing into an account and completing a purchase – Ticketmaster and Live Nation webpage users are presented with a confirmation button above which text informs the user that, by clicking on this button, 'You agree to our Terms of Use.' A reasonable user would have seen the notice and been able to locate the terms via hyperlink.”

The judge said that, while Live Nation and Ticketmaster didn’t make their terms as clearly available as possible, the visibility “did enough” in legal terms. “[The] notice is conspicuously displayed directly above or below the action button at each of three independent stages that a user must complete before purchasing tickets,” the ruling read. “Crucially, the ‘Terms of Use’ hyperlink is conspicuously distinguished from the surrounding text in bright blue font, making its presence readily apparent.”

Other, similar lawsuits are in the process against the corporations, but it’s not yet clear how the ruling will affect those.

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