Watchdog slaps big-ticket fine on Sistic
Singapore’s competitive watchdog, the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS ), yesterday fined Sistic the dominant ticketing operator in Singapore about $1 million when it ruled that Sistic had stymied its counterparts’ ability to compete.
This is in direct contradiction of the USA and UK governments’ positions and findings with respect to the Live Nation Ticketmaster merger.
“Jointly owned by the Singapore Indoor Stadium and The Esplanade, Sistic also had ‘explicit agreements’ with the venues to be appointed as ticketing agents. Besides that, Sistic also had 17 other agreements with event organisers for it to be appointed as exclusive ticketing agents.“
The exclusive contracts are alleged to represent 60 to 70 % of the local market.
“As a result of the agreements, ticket buyers could buy tickets only through Sistic, causing prices of tickets to increase for which consumers had to bear, said CCS.“
I am not sure how a contract for one agent ticket agent to sell the tickets on behalf of the event owner has a causal link with increases in the face value or price of tickets? Sistic does not set the price of the tickets, they do however set the price of some of the transaction costs worn by the event owner (inside charges) and the consumer (outside charges). But it must be noted that inside and outside charges in Singapore are at very low level internationally as a proportion of ticket price.