The U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit Thursday against Live Nation, accusing the entertainment and ticketing behemoth of practices that curtail competition and stifle innovation.

“We allege that Live Nation relies on unlawful, anticompetitive conduct to exercise its monopolistic control over the live events industry in the United States at the cost of fans, artists, smaller promoters, and venue operators,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland in a statement. “The result is that fans pay more in fees, artists have fewer opportunities to play concerts, smaller promoters get squeezed out, and venues have fewer real choices for ticketing services. It is time to break up Live Nation-Ticketmaster.”

While music fans and consumer groups rejoiced, though, others cautioned that the lawsuit, which seeks to break up Live Nation and its wholly owned subsidiary, Ticketmaster, will not result in lower concert prices for fans.

“It’s likely that what consumers are concerned with – high ticket prices and ticket availability – are products of the inherent scarcity of seeing a popular performer live,” said Jessica Melugin, director Center of Technology and Innovation for the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “Unless the government can clone Taylor Swift or Beyoncé, it’s hard to imagine major changes for concert goers. Adjusting how tickets are allocated by breaking up the vertical integration in this chain may not result in lower prices because you ultimately can’t make more of any one artist.”

Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged in 2010, forming a massive entertainment company that controls more than 265 venues in North America and manages ticket sales and other aspects of live shows around the globe. According to the lawsuit, Live Nation also directly managed more than 400 musical artists and controls 60 percent of concert promotions in the U.S. It also owns or controls more than 60 of the top 100 amphitheaters in the country. Overall, Live Nation and Ticketmaster control approximately 80 percent of primary ticketing for concerts and a “growing share” of the secondary ticket market.

The second largest primary market ticketer is AXS, operated by AEG, but it is less than one-fifth the size of Ticketmaster. The lawsuit alleges that this extreme market dominance gives Live Nation and Ticketmaster zero incentive to innovate better experiences for fans.

The companies also charge exorbitant fees because they can, the lawsuit claims. Fees include: “convenience,” “platinum,” “VIP,” “handling,” and “payment processing.”

In owning, operating, or leasing venues, the companies claim exclusive booking rights and the authority to determine what artists may perform where. Revenue streams are not just limited to the ticketing and venue management process, the lawsuit stated, but extends to sponsorships and food and beverage sales.

In the complaint, Justice Department officials allege that the companies engaged in numerous violations of federal laws aimed at preventing monopolization and criminalizing anticompetitive behaviors. It also alleges that a consent decree – originally entered into by Ticketmaster and Live Nation as a condition of the 2010 merger – is not working.

“The Section 7 consent decree … has failed to restrain Live Nation and Ticketmaster from violating other antitrust laws in increasingly serious ways,” the complaint states.

Diana Moss, director of Competition Policy at the Progressive Policy Institute, forecast that a win for the Justice Department in this case would bring a measure of justice for fans who have long paid “sky-high ticket fees.”

“Antitrust enforcement against Live Nation-Ticketmaster is long overdue,” Moss said. “The complaint is notable in that it uses all tools in the arsenal of antitrust enforcement to hold Live Nation-Ticketmaster accountable for illegal conduct.”

The 128-page complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York details actions and violations Live Nation and Ticketmaster have taken to threaten and retaliate against artists, venues, and competitors. It also discusses the relationship with Oak View Group, a “potential competitor-turned-partner that has described itself as a ‘hammer’ and ‘protect[or]’ for Live Nation.” The complaint notes that Live Nation has “scolded Oak View Group multiple times for trying to compete.”

The lawsuit was not unexpected. Rumors have been circulating for weeks that the Justice Department was preparing a case. Live Nation released a webpage soon after the case was announced, called “Breaking Down the DOJ Lawsuit.” The page makes the company’s case as to why the lawsuit won’t reduce ticket prices or service fees. Live Nation argues there is “more competition than ever in the live events market,” and that net profits disprove a monopoly.

“The complaint—and even more so the press conference announcing it—attempt to portray Live Nation and Ticketmaster as the cause of fan frustration with the live entertainment industry,” according to the website. “It ignores everything that is actually responsible for higher ticket prices, from increasing production costs to artist popularity, to 24/7 online ticket scalping that reveals the public’s willingness to pay far more than primary tickets cost. It was evident in our discussions with the DOJ Front Office that they just did not want to believe the numbers. The data conflicted too much with their preconception that Live Nation belongs in the ranks of the other ‘tech monopolists’ they have targeted.”

Live Nation’s annual revenue is more than $22 billion from three business segments: concerts, ticketing, and sponsorship and advertising, according to the lawsuit. Last year, the company generated $18.8 billion from concerts, $2.9 billion from ticketing, and $2.9 billion from sponsorships and ads, which the complaint notes is at least eight times as much as its competitor.

“In 2010, the Department of Justice decided that allowing Ticketmaster to swallow up its largest competitor could be a net positive for live event fans,” John Breyault, vice president of Public Policy, Telecommunications & Fraud for the National Consumers League, said. “The last fourteen years have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that the DOJ’s bet was dead wrong. Today’s action begins the long-overdue process of correcting that error and upholding the law.”

Live Nation’s web statement, though, makes clear it has a different view of the 2010 merger:

“The world is a better place because of that merger, not a worse one.”