Speak Out Against Ticketmaster-Live Nation Merger At TicketDisaster.org

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.

TicketDisaster.org (Thanks to JammingEcono!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Chongo says:

    Question: I just recently won 4 VIP tickets to any live-nation even at Northerly Island in Chicago in 2010. Do you guys think this merger will have any effect on the validity of these tickets?

    • scoosdad says:

      No but there’ll be a ‘convenience fee’ for having won those VIP tickets of $5,000 per ticket.

      And you’ll have to print them yourself, cost: $250.00 each.

  2. mobbo says:

    I agree it would be a terrible monopoly, but I have a hard time getting pissed off about this. I think it would be easier for these groups to organize a boycott against bands, performers, festivals, etc. that use Ticketmaster to sell tickets. If you had just a handful of famous performers and/or sports teams refuse to use Ticketmaster, the publicity itself would do more good.

    • tenners says:

      It’s not that simple though. Ticketmaster has contracts with most big venues and they’re required to use Ticketmaster as their only ticketing system.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      Which means if the groups are boycotting ticketmaster, they basically are boycotting performing.

    • Dre' says:

      Didn’t Pearl jam try this back in their heyday? I don’t think it worked out so well for them?


    • justsomeotherguy says:

      Ticketmaster boycotts have all failed in the past. They have a strangle hold on the system. Everything about ticketmaster has always been anti-consumer yet the feds seem to just look the other way. THis merger will be no different.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      It would be useless to boycott a particular band or musician or even a festival because those people aren’t the ones making the decision to use Ticketmaster. It’s the record labels that make that kind of decision. You would have to boycott the music label, and you’re never going to get enough people to do that so that it actually makes a difference.

      • friday3 says:

        The band, record label or sponsoring radio station are not involved in this MONOPOLY. It is the venue. If I want to perform at a specific place I need to go through the ticket provider THEY choose. Pearl Jam fdid a concert tour that was in venues that did not utilize Ticketmaster many years ago. What I have a major issue with is these venues are usually funded with a LOT of tax payer assistance. That means they can not say private enterprise.

  3. MyLud says:

    @mobbo — this has very little to do with performers, actually. It’s the venues. The performers aren’t making money off of CD sales anymore, so they need to tour and perform in as large a hall as they can. Unfortunately for them, most of those halls are exclusive with Ticketmaster.

    Aside from that — how can anyone have a hard time getting pissed off at ANY monopoly? Our economy stinks precisely because of a lack of regulation and oversight. This isn’t going to change that, of course, but it’s still the same thing — someone’s getting very wealthy because no one is protecting the consumer.

    So please…get pissed off!

    • mobbo says:

      Haha fair enough. I didn’t know that there had been past attempts or that they had exclusive agreements with venues. I am now sufficiently mad. Here’s my mad face >:(

      • halfcuban says:

        The situation is not unlike the old Music Corporation of America (MCA) that controlled booking, labels, and live venues either officially or unofficially through a variety of means. As the representative of so many artists (ala Live Nation) they were able to broker sweetheart exclusive agreements from venues and labels (ala Ticketmaster). It took us 30 or so years to break up that monopoly, and theres no reason why we should have to go back to it.

        The issue isn’t only major acts either, as Livenation seeks to spread its tentacles to more venues. While I doubt the local community theater is going to start using Ticketmaster anytime soon, it is not hard to imagine mid-sized venues being bullied into it by virtue of seeing their “talent” dry up. It is kind of a perpetual motion machine as bands are forced to sign to Live Nation since they control venues, and then that talent is used to bully other venues.

  4. H3ion says:

    What if DOJ, as a condition to approving the merger, also required that the venue was allowed to sell tickets (it used to be called a box office) without a service charge; that is, no exclusivity as it relates to the venue. Might that open things up a bit. I have no problem getting off my butt and standing in line to buy tickets to a show I want to see but I won’t pay the Ticketmaster vigorish so it’s been a while since I’ve attended any concert where Ticketmaster was involved.

    • eccsame says:

      They still do that. You can go to a box office for most large venues, but good luck getting a seat that isn’t in the nosebleed section. Ticketmaster already has the best seats blocked off to sell to third-party ticket resellers, the second-best go to the people who pay for the premium “get your tickets early” programs, and then the nosebleed, obstructed view seats go to the people who wait in line.

      What bothers me the most is that, when I buy a $25.00 ticket, it costs me around $35.00. But if I try to sell that same ticket for $35.00 – I’m a scalper. I don’t think people would mind the fees if they just hid them in the cost of the ticket. It’s like going to the market, buying a gallon of milk and it costs $1.00 that’s a good deal. But you would feel burned if you went to pay and they charged you a bagging fee, a checkout fee, and a store convenience fee when you walk out the door.

      • jesusofcool says:

        this is why I’ve started to avoid arena shows and only go to general admission shows (generally at club venues). Tickets are a lot cheaper, there are a lot of great indie bands, and you can usually buy at the box office and avoid the high fees.
        Realistically though, if tickets were cheaper, there are a lot of arena playing bands I’d love to go see. But the reality is that with or without the merger, Ticketmaster/Livenation are still making money on their crazy expensive tickets and they’re still selling out arenas at high prices. For every person like me, there’s someone willing to shell out the 250 bucks. Until those people start boycotting, I’m not sure what can be done.

        • NatalieErin says:

          Same here. I haven’t been to an arena show for years, and I don’t think I’ll start any time soon.

          The last time I came close to TicketMaster I was buying tickets for a stand-up comic at a theater that offered tickets online through TM or at the box office for $12.50 less than the online tickets. I went to the box office and actually got better seats than the ones offered online.

          Every other live theater in Minneapolis has their own online ticketing system, with no or minimal service fees.

  5. i'mthinkinghere says:

    TicketDisaster.org is run, in part, by the National Association of Ticket Brokers– the guys who are pissed the Ticketmaster has actually made it harder to resell tickets (often for exorbitant fees) on the secondary market.

    While I hate Ticketmaster, ticket brokers are really the scum of the earth. The artists and their management at least know what they’re getting paid by Ticketmaster/Live Nation. The artists make nothing when tickets are sold through a broker. Ticket brokers are legalized scalpers– nothing more, nothing less.

    • ElizabethD says:

      I noticed the sponsorship, too. That’s as sneaky as some of the anti-healthcare plan groups that use misleading names and web domains — Americans for Better Healthcare or whatever, when really they are just opposed to anything that threatens *their* cushy private health insurance.

      Count me out. My protest is, alas, not buying tickets anymore.

    • PhiTauBill says:

      While I agree that the ticket broker element within the TicketDisaster partnership is scary, it doesn’t mean that they are wrong on the merger issue. Regardless of whether the shady ticket brokers lose out due to this merger, let’s all be clear that ALL CONSUMERS DO AS WELL.

      This is not a contest to determine who is more evil, ticket brokers or TicketBastard. It’s about preventing TicketBastard from being given even more market power to do more evil… deal with the ticket brokers through strong state laws and regulations on resale that even the playing field between the brokers and consumers.

      As such, it is imperative that we continue to speak out against the merger regardless the fact that the group that has most to lose financially by it are ticket brokers. Once again, we all lose under this scenario…

  6. Naame says:

    This merger reeks of anti-competition.

    Not that TicketMonopoly doesn’t already have us by the balls. Their fees are ridiculously high.

  7. lehrdude says:

    I just tried to buy tickets for a hockey game that are on sale by the team for $5 each. The 4 tickets totaled $20, and the TM Service Charge was an additional $20…

    Thanks…for NOTHING!

  8. Dutchess says:

    It’s about time someone steps up and does something about the ticket sales monopoly and the HUGE prices it charges to people for the ticket sales.

    Things like, a $3.50 convenience fee for printing tickets at home. Let’s see. We let you print the tickets with your paper and ink, we have no labor printing and mailing tickets and we’re going to charge you 3.50 to do it.

  9. Pinkbox says:

    I hope something is done. I’m missing my favorite band in concert this month because I don’t want to pay $17 in fees for ONE ticket. That doesn’t even include parking… ridiculous!

  10. smashmouthftball says:

    as someone who works for a division of livenation (no relation to ticketing whatsoever), I have to say that our company has at least attempted to bring tickets to the fans, providing “no service fee” days and special deals, bundled package deals, and promotions not even considered by the competition…I personally am not effected by the merger, but I feel if we merge the philosophy will be to make the tickets more accessible to the fans (which has been a goal of LN for a while)…

  11. outlulz says:

    I once bought a $20 ticket for event and I think the total after all the fees came to over $40. I hate Ticketmaster.

  12. savageboredom (formerly Benguin) says:

    I thought the ticket marketplace was already rather monopoly-like. Now… I’m just frightened.

  13. mariospants says:

    The world would be a much better and safer place if TicketMaster were abolished, or sent to operate only in those nations run by dictators.

  14. PhiTauBill says:

    Please everyone send a message to the Department of Justice [AskDOJ@usdoj.gov] to oppose this merger.

    Here is what I sent this morning…

    To: DOJ [AskDOJ@usdoj.gov]

    Please do not approve the merger of these two giants in the marketplace. The horizontal and vertical monopolization opportunities that this merger represents are staggering, and no compelling synergies argument exists that overcomes these fundamental issues.

    Time and time again, TickerBastard has shown its willingness to mislead, overcharge and otherwise trample the rights of consumers, artists and venues alike. To confer upon them even more market power, and a greater ability to squeeze out competition and charge their monopoly rents would be a travesty upon this great nation and its people.