Archive for 4 October, 2011

Is there change in the wind regarding venue exclusive ticketing contracts?

Just maybe we have some potential precedents looming internationally … finally! It is not Ticketmaster taking it in the neck this time. However, the industry practice of venue exclusive ticketing contracts (introduced by Fred Rosen in the 80′s when CEO of Ticketmaster) is being questioned.

There are two cases currently, one in Singapore and the other South Africa, that are considering the anti-competitive impact of venue exclusive contracts.

Singapore

Competition Commission Singapore – Abuse of Dominant Position by Sistic resulting in a $989K fine with the appeal hearing on 3rd October 2011.

The Infringement Decision was 4th June 2010 – CCS Fines SISTIC.com Pte Ltd for Abusing Its Dominant Position to Foreclose Competition in the Ticketing Services Market

CCS finds that SISTIC is the dominant ticketing service provider in Singapore with a persistent market share of [85-95]%, and that the restrictions under the Exclusive Agreements are harmful to competition by restricting the choices of venue operators, event promoters and ticket buyers. Symptoms of such harmful effects have been observed in the market, such as an increase in SISTIC’s booking fee for ticket buyers in 2008.

South Africa

Competition Commission South Africa – Exclusionary Conduct by Computicket. Next hearing 13th October 2011

Press Release from the SA Competition Commission announcing the  case of exclusionary conduct against Computicket back in May 2010.

With a market share exceeding 95%, the Commission identified that Computicket is dominant in the market for outsourced ticketing services for entertainment events including theatres, festivals and live events.

Computicket’s exclusive contracts prevent rivals from entering the market thereby reducing choice and convenience for consumers. As a result the commission and fees that it charges for its services are higher than they would have been in a competitive market,” said Commissioner Shan Ramburuth. They don’t seem to be addressing the whole issue by focussing (maybe by legal necessity) on the B2C impact as opposed to the B2B effect upon event owners and presenters.

If these cases do set an international precedent, will we see an enduring change to the current ticketing model for venues and agencies?

4 October, 2011 at 10:10 am Leave a comment


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