Monday, February 9, 2009

Live Nation & Ticketmaster Expected to Merge

The NY Times reported today that Live Nation and Ticketmaster are expected to merge in the very near future. Although the merger will only lead to $50 million in annual savings, a mere 1% of combined operating costs, the real reason for the merger is likely to eliminate major competition. Live Nation recently opened its own ticketing outlet, posing a serious threat to Ticketmaster. Serious anti-trust issues will likely be raised due to this horizontal ticketing aspect of the merger, something that will be left to the Obama administration to regulate. Furthermore, it will be advantageous for the companies to work together in order to help promote artists and fill venues, if their resource pools are combined. Also, Michael Rapino will act as the President of Live Nation Entertainment, no surprise there.

The problems with this merger are plentiful for the mass public. Ticket prices are already outrageously high. Ticketmaster also owns websites that for all intensive purposes scalp tickets at even higher prices to the public. With 1 major ticketing company potentially emerging, whose to say they won't raise ticket prices even higher! They could combine their "convienence charges" and charge even more than they already do. Hopefully with the lack of major competition, Live Nation Entertainment will lower their ticket prices, now that they will be the one stop shop for all concert tickets.

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