That booming evil laughter you heard echoing across the sky earlier today came from the board room where Live Nation and Ticketmaster agreed to an all-stock merger between their two blighted companies. Ticketmaster Chairman Barry Diller says the merger will benefit customers, who are frequently “frustrated by their ticket buying experiences.” Oh! So by merging the two companies most responsible for those frustrations, we’ll cancel them out! This is doubleplus good, right?
Diller blames artists for your lousy ticket experiences, by the way:
“Ticketmaster does not set prices, Live Nation doesn’t set prices. Artists set the prices,” Diller said on a conference call. “Everyone else is just a distributor or a service provider.”
Lawmakers say they’ll give the merger a supposedly thorough review:
The agreement would “send ticket prices through the roof,” U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said today in an e-mailed statement.
“I will take a very close look at this merger before anything moves forward,” said Schumer, who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee and called on the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission to view the deal skeptically.
The new company will be called Live Nation Entertainment, which Ticketmaster CEO Irving Azoff confirmed on a conference call was a deliberate attempt to get away from the negative associations of his current company.
Oh, also, it was Visa’s fault that they couldn’t sell those Springsteen tickets more fairly. Diller said so.
“Live Nation, Ticketmaster to Merge in All-Stock Deal “ [Bloomberg]