Concert merger means higher ticket prices and fees

8 April, 2009 at 12:56 pm Leave a comment

Live Nation eats TicketmasterSan Francisco Examiner

6 April 2009

OpEd by Sen. Herb Kohl, Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights

This deal raises many serious questions about the future of competition in the concert business. This merger could change the way concerts are run and could increase the price and hassle to purchase tickets to see your favorite bands. Be assured, I will continue to examine the consumer implications of the merger and monitor the Justice Department’s investigation into the merger.

This merger will not only expand Ticketmaster’s control of the ticketing market by eliminating a competitor, but it is also creating an entity that will control the entire chain of the concert business – from artist management to concert promotion and production to ticketing and ticket resale.

Live Nation owns or has operating agreements with 140 amphitheaters, clubs, theaters, and small music venues, 30 music festivals, and 305 large arenas. It also has exclusive deals with popular artists, including U2, Madonna, and the Jonas Brothers, to name just a few. The company recently launched Live Nation Ticketing which makes it a viable competitor to Ticketmaster.

Ticketmaster is the nation’s dominant ticket seller, processing in 2007 more than 280 million tickets and $8.3 billion dollars in sales for thousands of venues – including more than 77 of the 100 largest venues.

By some accounts, Ticketmaster controls 70 to 80 percent of all concert ticket sales. Late last year, it acquired a management company that manages 200 artists, Front Line Management, and a leading ticket resale company.

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Entry filed under: box office, LiveNation, News, Ticketmaster. Tags: .

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