Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger Approved By The Brits
In a move that many feared would happen, British regulators approved a merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation, the number one and two biggest ticket selling agencies in the world. According to reports, the British Competition Commission found that the merger would not lessen the competition in the live music ticket retail market. This news comes as a huge blow to similar plans in the United States and Canada, where there are campaigns to lobby the Department of Justice to block any merger of the two ticket giants. It is reported that Ticketmaster and Live Nation would make $6 billion annually under this merger, with probably half of that coming from those ridiculous service charges (well, no, but it seems like it). Ticketmaster hasn't always been viewed kindly by certain musicians -- namely Pearl Jam who famously combated the ticket agency in the early 1990s. No one really want to concede all the power to both Ticketmaster and Live Nation, as far as big name concert promotion and ticket sales are concerned. Yet this merger signals a troubling trend that may find its way towards North America. It makes sense for both agencies to get in bed with each other, but it doesn't have to happen like this. Perhaps, however, it did have to happen -- and there is little anyone, especially the common concert-goer, can do about it...except pay out the nose for tickets.
The just announced approval of the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger across the pond does not bode well for any American plans