Yesterday a bunch of consumer advocates and anti-trust people held a press conference on Capitol Hill and asked the Department of Justice to block the Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger. If you, too, feel that this spells nothing but trouble for consumers–that a Ticketmaster-Live Nation monopoly would ruin competition and increase ticket prices–then check out the website TicketDisaster.org. From there, you can contact the DOJ to voice your opinion about the proposed merger, read up on reasons why the merger sucks for consumers and for the concert industry, and sign up for updates. (Thanks to JammingEcono!)
As the Comcast/NBC mergepocalypse draws near, we wanted to remind readers of the ways that this is going to harm consumers (beyond the obvious things like 30 Rock being promised to come on between 6 and 10 pm and actually airing at 11:30). Join us for a sad look into the future. [More]
While U.S. authorities are still trying to figure out whether letting the Godzilla and Megalon of ticket-selling join forces is a good thing, the U.K. has come to the rescue of concertgoers worldwide. The Competition Commission declared that the merger would “will limit the development of competition in the market for live music ticket retailing.”
Julia and her husband are former unhappy Verizon customers who thought they had escaped by signing on with Alltel, only to be sucked back in when Verizon’s took over the company.
CNBC’s Guy Adami said on CNBC’s Fast Money TV show that there’s talk that Apple may try to take over video game goliath Electronic Arts.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s office is at it again. They’ve been investigating the circumstances that led to the merger of Bank of America and Merrill Lynch and the subsequent bonus payments to executives. In a letter to Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Cuomo quotes Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis as saying that former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson threatened him with removal from his position and mass firing of the board and senior management if he didn’t allow the merger to go through.
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?
Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D) of New Jersey has asked the FTC and the Justice Department to investigate the relationship between Ticketmaster and its reseller website, TicketsNow, after consumers who tried to buy Bruce Springsteen tickets encountered technical problems that prevented purchase, and were then redirected to TicketsNow where prices were “hundreds of dollars above face value” (actually, more like “thousands of dollars,” based on our check just a few minutes ago).
The two companies most responsible for making your next live entertainment experience a financial disaster may announce a merger as early as this week, reports Reuters and the WSJ. If it goes ahead, the new company will apparently call itself Live Nation Ticketmaster, not “Satan’s Boxoffice” as one might expect. The merger will raise antitrust issues, but if Sirius/XM has taught us anything, it’s that those issues can be ignored at the expense of consumer choice and pricing.
Chase has announced that they will be closing 299 branches, 57 of them in the Chicago-area alone. The Daily Herald says that most of the branches are across the street or down the block from existing Chase branches and consolidation is necessary. The remaining WaMu branches will be converted to the Chase brand.
Ryan pointed us to an article on Orbitcast about a rumored fee hike by Sirius XM. The increases appear to be for services that aren’t strictly protected by the FCC agreement, which is why they would legally be able to do this despite promises that they wouldn’t raise rates for 36 months after the merger.
The AP says that the new mergeriffic Delta will be adding a $15 fee for the first checked bag and $25 for the second checked bag when traveling domestically, which is consistent with Northwest’s existing policies.
Wachovia announced their $23.7 billion third quarter loss with an all-too-easy-to-mock pre-taped conference call. “Let’s just close our eyes and imagine what the combination of Wells Fargo and Wachovia will create,” said CEO Bob Steel. We suppose that does make it easier not to rudely stare at the number “23,700,000,000.” [WSJ Deal Journal]