January 12, 2010

Stop the Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger!

From PIRG:

"Ticketmaster is the king of fees. A handling fee, a processing fee, a just-cause-we-can fee. Frequently, these fees make up more than 30 percent of the overall price of the ticket. [1]

And it could get worse. Ticketmaster wants to merge with Live Nation, its leading competitor, meaning that most of the tickets we could buy would be coming from the new mega-ticket conglomerate. And from past experience we know that the less competition, the worse these guys get with their handling, processing and other nonsense fees.

We can stop this ticket monopoly from forming: Send an e-mail to Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney.

Assistant Attorney General Varney is the Department of Justice official tasked with upholding anti-trust laws, and they are reviewing the merger right now. A trust is exactly what could form if Live Nation and Ticketmaster are allowed to merge.

Ticketmaster, along with its subsidiaries, contracts with roughly 200 artists. Live Nation owns or has exclusive deals with 139 venues, and manages about 150 artists. Live Nation is Ticketmaster's biggest competitor in the ticket selling business.

The new mega-ticket monopoly would be the gatekeeper to most major venues and artists, meaning that they would dominate most aspects of live concerts.

The fees are already extreme. For example, in a report by the Washington Post, Ticketmaster added $16.60 in fees -- $4.10 for "processing," $3.50 for "facilities," and a $9 "convenience charge" -- to a $56 dollar ticket, about 30 percent. [2]

We need to stand up to their price-gouging now."

[1]. John Seabrook, "The Price Of The Ticket." The New Yorker, Aug. 10, 2009
[2]. Don Oldenburg, The Ticketmaster Fee-nomenon, Washington Post, Jun. 29, 2004.

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