Ticketmaster merger on hold because of fears over pricing

11 June 2009

Andy and I went to see Oasis play at the the Stadium of Light last night. They were, in a word, shite. Some of you will be wondering why we expected anything more. Fair point. But it still stands that Andy would have been outraged even further if he'd paid more than he did for his ticket, and I'd have been very cross indeed if I'd had to pay anything at all for mine.

Ticket prices for gigs are already dizzyingly high, and a deal earlier this year meant they were set to creep even higher. Ticketmaster and venue operator Live Nation unveiled an agreement in February to merge their businesses, a move which would have given them a near-monopoly on live music ticketing, not only here but in the US.  One company would effectively control the majority of ticket sales, thereby setting the prices without competition to force them to remain competitive. Yes, they're competitive at the moment, apparently.

There's already an agreement of sorts in place - Live Nation already uses Ticketmaster as its principal ticketing agent, but the deal is due to expire in December 2009, when it had agreed to switch to European group CTS. A merger would rule that out, so now the The Office of Fair Trading has stepped up to the microphone, and referred the deal to the Competition Commission. A spokesperson said:

"The proposed merger risks potentially prompting the exit of what would likely have been a third large player from the UK, or at least significantly stunting its effectiveness. It creates a realistic prospect that the merger will deny those attending live music events the benefits of more competition in the distribution of tickets, which could include lower overall prices."

It doesn't matter. However many ticket vendors there are, the prices to see Oasis will never be low enough. Have I mentioned what a lot of ropey old cock they were?

TOPICS:   Consumer Advice

11 comments

  • Francis R.
    You only need listen to any of their albums to know what a pile of shite biscuits they are.
  • McDonalds B.
    [...] mentioned elsewhere, your correspondent went to see those monobrowed Manc musical water-treaders Oasis in concert last [...]
  • nige
    i went to see them in manchester on sunday, must agree, pretty shit. Re: the original post though, i think you are missing the point, ticketmaqster, livenation, seetickets etc are ticketing agencies who sell tickets on behlaf of the promoters, they do not in fact set the ticket price, they simply charge a (way too high) booking fee for their serive/delivery
  • Andy D.
    @Nige - there's a bit more to it than that as Ticketmaster and Live Nation have started signing up artists like Madonna, Coldplay and U2 to exclusive deals and the waters are becoming muddier in terms of the roles the companies have.
  • Tizer
    They were awesome at Manchester you bunch of spoojflutes... @Nige - I think your pretty shite...ha me 1 you 0
  • dvdj
    They weren't all that in Manchester on Sunday. Kasabian on the otherhand, showed them up big time imo!
  • The B.
    Tell me about it, I bought 6 tickets for Muse at the O2 (I promised a mate and the missus I'd buy it for them both as birthday presents and ended up buying every other bugger tickets too), apart from the seeticket queueing system being bloody awful, they stuck £4 on each ticket for booking fee and then stuck another £4 on top for arse knows what.
  • br04dyz
    I bought a ticket for Green Day in Minneapolis as im out there on business the night of the gig. Heres what ticketmaster stung me for: ticket price $41 convinience charge $6 buildings fee $2 delivery (will call collect in person) $3 MISC charges $8 tax $1 MISC CHARGES??????? Buildings fee??????? In fairness, after the exchange rate and such lot it worked out at maybe a fiver cheaper than going to the o2....but MISC charges??? The booking fee's for U2 tickets were bonkers at £14 - but if people are willing to pay....
  • nige
    @tizer, clearly you werent the lad next to me who got hit on the face with a full cup of piss, think he and countless others like him agree it was shite, plus the screens were too low!
  • Francis R.
    2 tickets to see Oasis in concert £124. Being hit in the face by a warm cup of piss? Priceless
  • jimmy d.
    I think alot of you need to book yourselfs into the clinic because Oasis were brilliant. Kasabian, The Enemy and Reverend and the Makers were the perfect bands to get you ready, for who I still believe to be the best band in the world. I think the £38.50 ticket price was reasonable but the booking fee extortionate. Next time I think they need to put more than three barstaff on as I queued on more than one occasion for drinks for thirty minutes or more and then just gave up as I had not progressed any further forward. On a health and safety front they should sort out the water situation as there seemed to be alot of dehydrated people not even getting a free cup of water after standing in a crowd with about 40c heat and 100% humidity. Still bring on their next visit to the Stadium of Light and ban the geordies who only seemed to be there to cause trouble.

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