Video game giant Electronic Arts stepped into the Worst Company In America nonagon of unpleasantness this morning crowned with two Golden Poos and with the confidence that the tournament’s only two-time winner deserves. But in the end, it wasn’t EA that was carried out of the arena in victory — it was Time Warner Cable. [More]
Live Nation owns large entertainment venues, promotes many of the larger concert tours, and — most controversially — uses its Ticketmaster business to sell fee-laden tickets to these events. But Live Nation’s biggest competitor seems intent on beating Ticketmaster at its own game. [More]
A new class-action lawsuit is seeking to prove in a court of law what many people already believe — that the Live Nation/Ticketmaster combination is an unfair monopoly intent on using exorbitant fees to siphon off cash from customers.
Perhaps realizing that disc-based media will soon go the way of VHS, the folks at Redbox have dipped a toe into the shark-infested water of selling event tickets. Keeping with the company’s $1 theme, Redbox is only charging a $1 fee for each ticket, compared to the complicated, expensive fees tacked on by industry leader Ticketmaster.
It’s near-impossible to find a sporting or concert venue in the U.S. without the name of some bank/oil company/car maker/beverage slapped on the front. While most of these are innocuous — and some have even grown to be accepted by the public — there are a handful of naming rights deals where the venue owners shouldn’t have gone with the highest bidder.
With the clock ticking down until we open the floor up to Worst Company In America nominations, perennial Final Four contender Ticketmaster is here to remind everyone why they belong in the tournament.
Earlier today the nation’s largest retailer, Walmart, announced a deal with the nation’s least essential company, Ticketmaster, to sell overpriced tickets via in-store video screens at hundreds of Walmarts around the country.
The feds charged four guys in Nevada with hitting online ticket sellers with tons of simultaneous requests, snapping up tickets and then scalping tickets to shows like Hannah Montana and Bruce Springstein. Their company, “Wiseguy Tickets,” hired a Bulgarian programmer to bumrush the sites of Ticketmaster, Livenation and MLB and outsmart their crappy CAPTCHA systems to grab up all the prime seats. Hm, I wonder what the first clue was for investigators…
Ticketmaster has settled with the FTC over charges that it used “deceptive bait-and-switch” tactics when selling concert tickets, reports the Los Angeles Times. As usual for this kind of settlement, Ticketmaster admits no wrongdoing. For instance, the FTC noted that in one case “the same set of 38 tickets for the Springsteen concert in Washington were sold and resold 1,600 times,” and Ticketmaster waited as long as three months to let affected customers know, which is a clear example of not doing anything wrong.
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!)
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.”
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.