Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Just Say No To The Proposed Ticketmaster / Live Nation Merger

The proposed merger between Ticketmaster & Live Nation is a really bad idea. I hope that our wonderful and often ass-backwards government will realize this and prevent this atrocity from happening.

Living in Chicago has it's advantages when it comes to the arts. You are able to see just about any genre of music on any given night. It is simply getting too expensive to go to as many shows as I would like. I recently bought a ticket for the Experience Hendrix Tribute Tour, which descends upon Chicago on March 18. I bought a $38 face value ticket. After a $10.45 "convenience charge" and a $0.63 charge in "additional taxes", my ticket wound up being about $50!

This morning, I got an email from Jam Productions regarding the proposed merger. The entire email is below. Please read it and let your voice be heard. As fans of live music we have to do everything in our power to keep this from happening!

Fellow Concertgoers,

There's a train wreck about to happen and consumer groups say YOU will be the victim - if the two most powerful corporate interests in the live concert business get their way. But you can help stop the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation. The government needs to hear from music fans now. Tell the Department of Justice that you're against these monopolies amassing illegal power over consumers, before it's too late. antitrust.complaints@usdoj.gov

As a concertgoer you have already felt the pain, and if Ticketmaster and Live Nation get their way, it'll get worse. In the last 12 years, since Live Nation and its predecessor started its widespread take over of the concert industry, concert tickets have shot up 82% while the consumer price index has gone up just 17%*. We are concerned that if the two concert industry behemoths, Live Nation and Ticketmaster, were permitted to merge, the variety and quality of artists coming to local venues would be affected, and your prices could rise further and faster.

Five of the nation's most prominent public interest groups called on the Department of Justice to block the proposed merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation.

In the consumer groups' and lawmakers' words:

"Consumers deserve a fair deal in the entertainment marketplace, not the fewer choices and higher prices that would result from this merger," said Susan Grant, Director of Consumer Protection at Consumer Federation of America.

"This merger is an insult to both musicians and consumers," said James Love, Director of Knowledge Ecology International

"We cannot envision a remedy that would ease this chilling impediment to competition… In the absence of other effective, expeditious remedies, the proposed transaction should be prohibited." American Antitrust Institute White Paper

As described by Senator Herb Kohl (WI) in the Senate Antitrust hearing, "This merger will not only expand Ticketmaster's control of the ticketing market by eliminating a competitor, but it is also creating an entity that will control the entire chain of the concert business – from artist management to concert promotion and production to ticketing and ticket resale."

"This merger would be a disaster for consumers. Nothing short of blocking this takeover of the ticket market by two industry behemoths will be acceptable," said National Consumers League Executive Director Sally Greenberg.

"As president, I will direct my administration to reinvigorate antitrust enforcement. I will step up review of merger activity and take effective action to stop or restructure those mergers that are likely to harm consumer welfare…," said Senator Barak Obama when he was campaigning for the presidency.

If you agree with the consumer groups and lawmakers, make a difference and LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD NOW.

If you are tired of paying exorbitant ticket prices and service charges and paying for parking on a per head basis and dealing with the gouging, unregulated secondary ticket market in an effort to get good seating. If you are disgusted with paying more and more every year for the live concert experience THEN ACT NOW, CLICK ON THE LINK IMMEDIATELY BELOW AND SEND A MESSAGE TO THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE URGING THEM TO STOP THIS MERGER!

To learn more, check out:


Public Interest Groups Call on Justice Department to Block Ticketmaster/LiveNation/Comcast Merger

American Antitrust Institute's White Paper TICKETMASTER - LIVE NATION

Philadelphia Weekly's cover story "Monopoly Rules"


Jam Productions, The 9:30 Club, Merriweather Post Pavilion,
Metropolitan Talent, Another Planet, Frank Productions, Stone City Attractions, Rams Head Live, The Black Cat …… and independent concert promoters and venue operators nationwide.

*Study by Princeton University economist Alan Krueger

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