Ticket Master-Live Nation merger hits another snag


Earlier this year, Ticketmaster and Live Nation attempted to merge companies. Since Ticketmaster is the largest ticketing distributer in the country, one could understand why the Justice Department would balk at a union with Live Nation, a huge concert promoter. Smaller production companies feel they would lose out on events if this deal goes through. They’re right, of course. The merger would create a ticketing powerhouse, one that has the ability to simultaneously sell and promote their own events. Negotiations may be starting back up in Washington, but they’re also receiving harsh criticism in the UK.

The U.K.’s Competition Commission issued a provisional ruling on Thursday that the union of the L.A.-based firms “could severely inhibit the entry of a major new competitor, CTS Eventim, into the U.K. ticketing market.”

The commission’s ruling echoes objections of witnesses who assailed the merger as anticompetitive at U.S. congressional hearings early this year.

Prior to the merger announcement in February, Bremen, Germany-based CTS agreed to provide ticketing for Live Nation’s British events, and it has enabled the U.S. promoter to operate a ticketing platform, which competes with Ticketmaster, in the U.S. since January.

A Live Nation-Ticketmaster alliance could erode CTS’ position in the U.K. market by cutting the number of tickets made available to the smaller firm, the commission said. “This could lead to higher net prices … and/or lower service quality or less innovation in the market,” the ruling stated.

Ticketmaster is one of the most hated companies in the world. They’re the schmucks that invented the 40 percent surcharge to see your favorite band. This deal wouldn’t benefit anybody but the companies. The bands, fans, and independent operators would all get screwed.

I never understood why venues didn’t just sell tickets exclusively in-house. I know you can buy tickets at the box office, but why can’t you also order them online? The venue would only have to hire a couple more employees to process the orders and send out the tickets. They’d tack on a surcharge to pay the staff, but it wouldn’t be as monstrous as they one utilized by Ticketmaster.

There has to be better way!