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Albert Leffler |
|Headquarters||Beverly Hills, California, United States|
Michael Rapino (CEO) |
Jared Smith (President of Ticketmaster North America)
Mark Yovich (President of Ticketmaster International)
Kip Levin (Executive VP of Product)
Distribution of event tickets and information
Support of venue renovation
|Revenue||Sold 142 million+ tickets valued at $8 billion in 2007|
Number of employees
Live Nation Entertainment|
Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc. is an American ticket sales and distribution company based in Beverly Hills, California, with operations in many countries around the world. In 2010 it merged with Live Nation to become Live Nation Entertainment. As a primary ticket outlet, most US ticket sales for US venues are fulfilled at Ticketmaster's two main fulfillment centers located in Charleston, West Virginia, and Pharr, Texas. Typically, Ticketmaster's clients (promoters) control their events, and Ticketmaster acts as an agent, selling the tickets that the clients make available to them.
On 10 January 2008, Ticketmaster completed the acquisition of Paciolan Inc., a developer of ticketing system applications and hosted ticketing systems, after litigation over the potential breach of antitrust laws. In January 2008, Ticketmaster acquired UK-based secondary ticket marketplace, Getmein.com. Getmein is a secondary ticket market where people can buy or sell tickets for live events.
On 10 February 2009, Ticketmaster and Live Nation, the largest concert promoter, officially announced their merger deal. After almost a year of review, the two companies merged on 25 January 2010, under the name Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV). To satisfy one of the United States Department of Justice's conditions of approval for the merger, Ticketmaster sold Paciolan to Comcast Spectacor in March 2010.
Much of the price for a ticket advertised by Ticketmaster is earmarked for its own service fees. Some consumers find these markups excessive, because there are many instances where no alternative purchase method is offered that would allow avoidance of the fees. This business practice, along with a dearth of competitors, has led many to view Ticketmaster as monopolistic. Alternative ticketing companies have emerged, but, due to Ticketmaster's exclusive agreements with a large percentage of venues, the company does not need to lower service fees. In some instances customers may be able to buy tickets directly from the venue, which may add its own service charges.
Typical fees added to a ticket's face value include:
In some instances service charges amount to up to 50% of a ticket's face value.
Ticketmaster has been criticized by some who claim its fees are excessive, with forty British MPs signing an early day motion criticizing the company for overcharging and for the lack of transparency in its pricing structure.
In 2003, a class action lawsuit was filed against Ticketmaster in Los Angeles District Court alleging that Ticketmaster misrepresented the exact nature of the shipping and processing fees included in certain ticket sales. That dispute then spilled over into a related lawsuit filed in 2010 against Ticketmaster's liability insurance carrier Illinois Union Insurance Company, a subsidiary of ACE Limited (NYSE: ACE).
Ticketmaster has been the subject of complaints of high ticket service charges. Notably, in the 1990s, Pearl Jam's complaints about Ticketmaster led the U.S. Department of Justice to open an antitrust investigation into the company's practices. The investigation was ultimately dropped because, according to former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, other competitors were entering the ticket industry, and there was a lack of evidence to proceed.
In 2008, an anonymous source alleged that TicketsNow, an acquired subsidiary of Ticketmaster, assisted with the sale of more than $1 million worth of Radiohead tickets on the TicketsNow website. Due to heavy marketing by the band, Ticketmaster quickly sold out of tickets, but then began referring customers to a "partner site", without disclosing it as a subsidiary, where many tickets were resold at much higher prices.
Ticketmaster is the primary ticket seller for 27 of the 30 NHL teams and 28 of 30 NBA teams, but in 2005, Major League Baseball acquired Ticketmaster rival Tickets.com. MLB sells approximately 75,000,000 baseball tickets per year, and might be expected to transfer those sales to Tickets.com when Ticketmaster contracts ended.
Ticketmaster has historically had limited success in the secondary ticketing market. In September 2003, Ticketmaster announced plans to sell tickets in internet auctions, which would bring the price of tickets closer to market prices, but its market share compared to that of eBay or Stubhub remains small, and Internet auctions are still a relatively minor part of its business. Indeed, since around the time of the 2003 announcement, Ticketmaster has lost the lead in the secondary ticketing market to new entrants like Stubhub, who have developed a popular and effective person-to-person market for tickets.
In 2006, Ticketmaster President Sean Moriarty, interviewed on NPR, pleaded for legislation that would make the selling of tickets from person to person illegal except through Ticketmaster's own product for this purpose. Ticketmaster established the Ticketmaster Ticketexchange to compete with Stubhub, their main tagline being that tickets are 100% guaranteed to be authentic, since they are sold through the season ticket holder's account. Some NFL teams, such as the New England Patriots, New York Giants and New York Jets, require people to be on the waiting list in order to use the service.
In an article by the CBC, Ticketmaster has been quoted as saying, "You and I both know there is a thriving ticket-broker industry ... so the law is really a fiction ... We very strongly feel the law needs to be modernized to reflect the reality of internet commerce. By keeping a price cap in place, you're really just driving the [resale] business into the shadows."
In late summer 2009, Ticketmaster developed a new way to resell tickets hoping to circumvent brokers and scalpers. This new system relies on a "paperless" ticketing platform, which makes customers prove their purchase by showing a credit card and ID.
In 1994-1995 LA Times reporter Chuck Philips broke a series of stories  that helped trigger a federal anti-trust investigation. In 1994 Ticketmaster's tickets often had surcharges as large as 25% of the base ticket price. Moreover, an unwanted and unnecessary "tying" of services (such as parking and "conveniences") to the cost of the concert placed an unfair burden on customers and constituted an anti-competitive practice according to a legal analysis  of investigative pieces by Philips.
The grunge band Pearl Jam petitioned the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice, complaining that Ticketmaster adopted monopolistic practices and refused to lower service fees for the band's tickets  Pearl Jam wanted to keep ticket prices under $20.00, with service charges no greater than $1.80. Fred Rosen of Ticketmaster refused and because Ticketmaster had exclusive contracts with many of the large venues in the United States they threatened to take legal action if those contracts were broken. Pearl Jam was forced to create from scratch its own outdoor stadiums in rural areas to perform. Pearl Jam's efforts to organize a tour without the ticket giant collapsed which Pearl Jam said was further evidence of Ticketmaster's monopoly. An analysis of Philips' investigative series  in well known legal monograph  concluded that it was hard to imagine a legitimate reason for their exclusive contracts with venues and contracts which covered such a lengthy period of time. The authors said, "The pervasiveness of Ticketmaster's exclusive agreements, coupled with their excessive duration and the manner in which they are procured, supported a finding that Ticketmaster had engaged in anticompetitive conduct under section 2 of the Sherman Act." Members of Pearl Jam testified on Capitol Hill on June 30 of 1994. Pearl Jam alleged that Ticketmaster used anti-competitive and monopolistic practices to gouge fans. Congressman Dingell (D-Mich.) after Pearl Jam's testimony before congress wrote a bill requiring full disclosure to prevent Ticketmaster from burying escalating service fees. Pearl Jam's manager said he was gratified that Congress saw the problem as a national issue.
Later in the year the Justice Department opened an investigation into anti-competitive practices in the ticket industry. It continued for close to a year until July 6 of 1995 when the Justice Department abruptly closed its antitrust probe in a two-sentence press release.Chuck Philips was told by sources close to the case that the investigation was closed due to a combination of shortage of resources and the case being difficult and having uncertain prospects. A spokesman for Pearl Jam told the LA Times Chuck Philips, "Unfortunately, those who will be most hurt by the Justice Department's cave-in are the consumers of live entertainment...The consumers are the ones who ultimately pay for the lack of choice in the marketplace."
In 2018, the United States Department of Justice launched an investigation following complaints that Live Nation had engaged in anti-competitive practices following their merger with Ticketmaster. AEG has alleged that Live Nation had pressured them into using Ticketmaster as a vender. If AEG had refused, they would have lost out on business. The allegations of antitrust violations have resulted in a re-examination of the merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation. Much of the initial criticisms of the merger has been re-affirmed. 
On April 28, 1997, Ticketmaster sued Microsoft over its Sidewalk service for allegedly deep linking into Ticketmaster's site. The suit was settled after a two-year legal battle in which Ticketmaster claimed that linking to specific pages on an Internet site without permission was an unfair practice.
In 2003, the jam band The String Cheese Incident and its associated booking group, SCI Ticketing, sued Ticketmaster arguing that Ticketmaster's exclusive use contracts at most US venues was a breach of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. This lawsuit was settled in 2004 with no publicity of the settlement terms.
In 2009, Ticketmaster faced several lawsuits across North America, claiming they conspired to divert tickets to popular events to its ticket brokering website TicketsNow, in which the same tickets were sold at premium prices. This also raised the ire of musician Bruce Springsteen, who said he was 'furious' at Ticketmaster, and "...the one thing that would make the current ticket situation even worse for the fan than it is now would be Ticketmaster and Live Nation coming up with a single system, thereby returning us to a near monopoly situation in music ticketing".
In 2003, a class action lawsuit was filed in Schlesinger v. Ticketmaster. The claim was that Ticketmaster did not fully disclose the UPS and Order Processing Fees. Ticketmaster settled the case in 2013, with the court granting final approval of the settlement in February 2015. Settlement consisted of a $2.25 voucher on the future purchase of tickets, for each transaction from 1999-2013, up to a maximum of 17 vouchers.
Ticketmaster eventually confirmed hacking of their systems affected UK transactions between February 2018 and 23 June 2018, and 'International Customers' who purchased/attempted to purchase tickets between September 2017 and 23 June 2018.