Ticketmaster and Live Nation's empire-building blocked
We all loathe love Ticketmaster don’t we? What with their pain-in-the-arse fantastic multi-step ticket booking system and their hideous justifiable and fair booking and administration fees. Then there’s the admin fee they charge you EVEN THOUGH YOU’RE PRINTING THE FRIGGING TICKETS OUT YOURSELF AT HOME! They’re a proper set of bastards giggle and no mistake.
So it’s sad to see that their proposed merger with the similarly loathsome brilliant concert promoters Live Nation has been provisionally quashed by the Competition Commission as it would stop the world’s second largest ticket agency, CTS Eventim, from getting a foothold on the UK market.
Shortly before the proposed merger was announced, Live Nation signed a deal with CTS allowing it to sell tickets for Live Nation shows. But the Commission said: “We believe that ... Live Nation will seek to limit its relationship with CTS, with the effect of putting CTS's future prospects in the UK in considerable doubt.” So they’d basically give CTS about five tickets to sell per show? Something like that. Maybe.
But as Ticketmaster and Live Nation are both US-based companies, the Competition Commission cannot actually stop the merger between the two. However, they could force them to allow third party retailers to act as an agent for Live Nation shows. A third party that wouldn’t scrape the customers’ eyes out with ridiculous piss-taking add-on fees? Unlikely Here's hoping!