- Christine A. VarneyAssistant Attorney General for Antitrust, U.S. Department of Justice
Tell the Department of Justice to Block the Ticketmaster-Live Nation Merger
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 live event fans now. Tell the Department of Justice that you're against these monopolies amassing illegal power over consumers - before it's too late.
As a concertgoer you have already felt the pain of high "convenience" fees, paired with inconvenient ticketing practices and poor service. If Ticketmaster and Live Nation get their way, it will get worse. History bears this fear out. From 1996 to 2003, ticket prices shot up by 82% while the consumer price index increased by just 17% -- at the same time that Ticketmaster and Live Nation (then known as SFX Entertainment and later, Clear Channel Entertainment) were busy buying up rivals in the live event industry. If these two live event industry behemoths are permitted to merge, the variety and quality of artists coming to local venues will be negatively affected, while the costs to consumers would shoot through the roof.
If you agree with the consumer groups and lawmakers, make a difference and LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD NOW.
Send a message to the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice telling them you support President Obama's campaign promise to protect the American public from abusive monopolies.
- Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, U.S. Department of Justice
Christine A. Varney
We, the undersigned consumers, are writing to urge you to support competition and consumer choice in the live event industry by blocking the proposed Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger. As fans of live events, we are concerned that the merger will lead to higher ticket prices, less consumer choice for live events, and unprecedented control by one company over live events.
Ticketmaster has a long track record of anti-competitive and anti-consumer practices. Over the last five years, Ticketmaster has generated more than $5 billion in "convenience fees," “order-processing fees” and newer schemes like charging fans $2.50 to print their own tickets. These outrageous fees are directly related to Ticketmaster's dominant position in the primary ticketing market -- a position that Ticketmaster is seeking to strengthen through this merger.
The reasons for the deal are quite transparent. Ticketmaster faced its first significant competitive threat when Live Nation announced earlier this year that it was entering the primary ticketing market. Most monopolists would like to quash any new threats to their dominance. But if they can't quash them, they might choose to buy them out - which is precisely why this merger is illegal.
In your first public remarks upon assuming your current position, you stated that “as antitrust enforcers, we cannot sit on the sidelines any longer.” As consumers and live event fans, we urge you to live up to these courageous words and block the Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger.
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