Hard to see how this could have an upside for concertgoers. Today, the U.S. Department of Justice reportedly signed off on a long in the works merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation, clearing aside the biggest obstacle to a proposed Live Nation Ticketmaster entertainment conglomerate. The two companies are former competitors with slightly different specialties–ticket sales (that’d be Ticketmaster) and concert/artist promotion (Live Nation, pioneers of the so-called 360 Deal); combine the two and you have every incentive on both sides to raise prices for the people buying the tickets.
Plus, as Pearl Jam learned many years ago, and Springsteen learned just recently, the less options bigger artists have in terms of who and where they book their shows with (as larger venues tend to be partnered up with one or both of these guys), the less control they have over what their own tickets cost. To put it another way, lack of competition will always encourage the dominant business to price its product at whatever extortionary number it damn well pleases. And apparently Obama’s lawyers are cool with this fact. Discouraging.
Ticketmaster, Live Nation’s Monster Merger Approved by U.S. [Daily Finance]