Obama's Department of Justice Approves Ticketmaster and Live Nation Merger.

By theajaysharma

Ticketmaster (ticket broker) and Live Nation (concert promoter) are set to join and create a new company, Live Nation Entertainment, now that the Department of Justice has approved the merger.  If you read the press releases, everyone is claiming how this is a "win" for consumers.  But if you talk to any consumers or independent concert promoters, the merger is anything but.

The new company is set to manage everything about the concert industry, selling tickets, managing performers, promoting shows, and even selling concessions.  But it's not a complete win for the new venture, Ticketmaster must sell a small subsidiary to a sports promoter and also share its ticketing software with AEG Live.  The DoJ thinks that this will increase competition and thus reduce prices for us fans.

The real problem is that Ticketmaster has an exclusive contract with most major concert venues across America.  And those contracts won't expire for another five to ten years.  So until then the venue's won't be able to switch to a competiting ticket service.  And for those of you that remember, this issue was looked at by the DoJ back in the 90's when Pearl Jam took up the cause.  And of course, nothing was done.

What's funny is the relationship that the govenment has to these two giant companies.  On the board for Live Nation is the Hollywood agent, Ari Emanuel, brother of Rahm Emanuel, who is Obama's cheif of staff.  Ticketmaster had Julius Genachowski on the board until he resigned to become the chairman of the FCC.

Bottom line is that while the average ticket prices have doubled in the last ten years, don't expect them going down anytime soon.