Ticketmaster

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{{Infobox company | name = Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc. | logo = TicketMaster wordmark.svg | type = Subsidiary | foundation = 1976;43 years ago
Arizona, U.S. | founders = Albert Leffler
Peter Gadwa
Jerry Nelson | hq_location_city = Beverly Hills, California | key_people = Michael Rapino (CEO)
Jared Smith (President of Ticketmaster North America)
Mark Yovich (President of Ticketmaster International)
Kip Levin (Executive VP of Product)
| hq_location_country = United States | area_served = Worldwide | industry = Live Entertainment | products = Ticketing technology
Ticket sales
Ticket resales
Marketing
Distribution of event tickets and information
Support of venue renovation | revenue = Sold 142 million+ tickets valued at $8 billion in 2007 | num_employees = 6,678 | parent = Live Nation Entertainment
(2010–present) | homepage = http://wild.link/ticketmaster/APLTCQ 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.

A subsidiary, subsidiary company or daughter company is a company that is owned or controlled by another company, which is called the parent company, parent, or holding company. The subsidiary can be a company, corporation, or limited liability company. In some cases it is a government or state-owned enterprise. In some cases, particularly in the music and book publishing industries, subsidiaries are referred to as imprints.

Arizona state of the United States of America

Arizona is a U.S. state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona, one of the Four Corners states, is bordered by New Mexico to the east, Utah to the north, Nevada and California to the west, and Mexico to the south, as well as the southwestern corner of Colorado. Arizona's border with Mexico is 389 miles (626 km) long, on the northern border of the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California.

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Contents

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. [1] [2] In January 2008, Ticketmaster acquired UK-based secondary ticket marketplace, Getmein.com. [3] 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. [4] After almost a year of review, the two companies merged on 25 January 2010, under the name Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE :  LYV). [5] To satisfy one of the United States Department of Justice's conditions of approval for the merger, [6] Ticketmaster sold Paciolan to Comcast Spectacor in March 2010. [7]

New York Stock Exchange American stock exchange

The New York Stock Exchange is an American stock exchange located at 11 Wall Street, Lower Manhattan, New York City, New York. It is by far the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies at US$30.1 trillion as of February 2018. The average daily trading value was approximately US$169 billion in 2013. The NYSE trading floor is located at 11 Wall Street and is composed of 21 rooms used for the facilitation of trading. A fifth trading room, located at 30 Broad Street, was closed in February 2007. The main building and the 11 Wall Street building were designated National Historic Landmarks in 1978.

United States Department of Justice U.S. federal executive department in charge of law enforcement

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ), also known as the Justice Department, is a federal executive department of the U.S. government, responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice in the United States, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries. The department was formed in 1870 during the Ulysses S. Grant administration.

Comcast Sports Ventures, doing business as Comcast Spectacor, is a Philadelphia-based American sports and entertainment company. It owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, the upcoming Maine Mariners of the ECHL, the Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League, the Philadelphia Fusion of the Overwatch League, and formerly owned the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association. The company owns and manages the Wells Fargo Center and formerly managed the Spectrum in South Philadelphia, plus several community skating rinks in the Philadelphia region known as Flyers Skate Zone. The Comcast SportsNet (CSN) regional sports networks were also owned by Comcast Spectacor prior to parent company Comcast's acquisition of a majority stake in NBCUniversal in January 2011; CSN is now operated through NBC Sports.

Service fees

Much of the price for a ticket advertised by Ticketmaster is earmarked for its own service fees. [8] 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. [9] [10] [11] 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. [8]

Typical fees added to a ticket's face value include:

Electronic ticket digital ticket

An electronic ticket is the digital ticket equivalent of a paper ticket. The term is most commonly associated with airline issued tickets. Electronic ticketing for urban or rail public transport is usually referred to as travel card or transit pass. It is also used in ticketing in the entertainment industry.

Emily Fair Oster is an American economist. After receiving a B.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard in 2002 and 2006 respectively, Oster joined the faculty of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where she taught prior to moving to Brown University(after being denied tenure at Booth), where she currently holds the rank of Professor of Economics. Her research interests span from development economics and health economics to research design and experimental methodology. Her work has received exposure among non-economists through the Wall Street Journal, the SuperFreakonomics bestseller book, and her 2007 TED Talk, among other media sources.

In some instances service charges amount to up to 50% of a ticket's face value. [12]

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. [13]

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). [14]

Ticketmaster has been the subject of complaints of high ticket service charges. [15] 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. [16] [17]

Ticket sales market

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. [18]

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. [19] 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.

The resale site also charged up to $1,199 for a $44 face-value ticket to a recent Killers concert in Toronto — roughly a 2,500% markup. [20]

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." [21]

In late summer 2009, Ticketmaster developed a new way to resell tickets hoping to circumvent brokers and scalpers. [22] This new system relies on a "paperless" ticketing platform, which makes customers prove their purchase by showing a credit card and ID. [22]

Controversies

Issues and hearings regarding anti-competitive practices

In 1994-1995 LA Times reporter Chuck Philips broke a series of stories [8] that helped trigger a federal anti-trust investigation. [23] 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 [24] of investigative pieces by Philips. [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [24] [30]

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 [23] 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 [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] in well known legal monograph [24] 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. [32]

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. [10] 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. [10] 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.”

2018 Department of Justice Investigation into Antitrust Violations

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. [33] [34]

Scalper Scandal

In September 2018, the Toronto Star went undercover [35] at a ticketing conference and exposed Ticketmaster's "secret scalping program" [36] . This led to a class action lawsuit on the grounds of "unlawful and unfair business practices." [37]

Ticketmaster president Jared Smith responded by saying Ticketmaster "never allows ticket scalpers to buy tickets ahead of fans." [38]

Prominent lawsuits

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. [39]

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. [40] This also raised the ire of musician Bruce Springsteen, who said he was 'furious' at Ticketmaster, [41] 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". [42] [43]

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. [44] [45] [46] [47]

Ticketmaster Data Breach

On June 27, 2018 it was reported that up to 40,000 British customers may have had their credit card data stolen in a security breach of Ticketmaster systems. [48] [49] [50] [51] [52] [53] [54]

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 [55] via a web skimming attack. [56]

Key staff

See also

Related Research Articles

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