Florida Joins Federal, Multistate Efforts to Protect Consumers in Merger of Ticket Conglomerates
From Attorney General’s Office:
Attorney General Bill McCollum announced Monday that Florida and 16 other attorneys general have joined the U.S. Department of Justice in an effort to protect consumers regarding the pending merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation. As a result of the states’ and federal government’s efforts, the newly combined company is required to make significant changes to the merger agreement, including undertaking measures ensuring competition is preserved in primary ticketing services for events in the United States. Primary ticketing services include the maintenance of websites and call centers where tickets can be purchased initially for a venue event.
In 2008, Ticketmaster had 80 percent of the primary ticketing services market. Ticketmaster and Live Nation – Ticketmaster’s primary source of competition – announced plans to merge in February 2009. The merger was poised to eliminate Ticketmaster’s largest competitor in the primary ticketing service market, and as originally proposed, threatened to lessen competition in that market, resulting in higher prices and less innovation for consumers.
After reviewing the proposed merger, the Department of Justice and 17 state Attorneys General decided that divestitures and anti-retaliation provisions were necessary to protect competition. Ticketmaster must provide access to one of its major technology platforms and sell Paciolan, a Delaware corporation that provides ticketing services throughout the United States and is owned by Ticketmaster.
Ticketmaster has agreed to provide its technology platform to AEG Worldwide, the second largest concert promoter in the United States. By acquiring Ticketmaster’s technology platform, AEG would be able to provide both primary ticketing and concert promotion services to venues.
Additionally, Comcast, as the likely buyer of Paciolan, is expected to become a stronger competitor for primary ticketing services. As a result of their acquiring the divested assets, these companies will have the tools needed to become more effective competitors in primary ticket servicers.
In addition to divesting assets, the merged entity has agreed that it will not retaliate against a venue that is contracting or is contemplating contracting with another company for ticketing services. Additionally, the merged firm cannot require venues to use the firm’s concert promotion services or artists as a condition for using the firm’s primary ticketing services. The merged firm may not use concert ticketing data it have collected for the benefit of its non-ticketing businesses or share that data with others.
The settlement, if approved by the court, resolves the competitive concerns of the U.S. Department of Justice, Florida and the other 16 states as set forth in a complaint filed simultaneously with the proposed settlement today in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia.
The following Florida venues are among the top 500 Ticketmasters venues in the country:
Carol Morsani Hall – Tampa
Bank Atlantic Center – Sunrise
St. Pete Times Forum – St. Pete
American Airlines Arena – Miami
Amway Arena – Orlando
Broward Center Au Rene Theater – Ft. Lauderdale Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater Cruzan Amphitheatre – West Palm Beach Ford Amphitheatre – Tampa Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena – Jacksonville Bob Carr Performing Arts Center – Orlando Dreyfoos Hall – West Palm Beach Land Shark Stadium – Miami Citrus Bowl – Orlando Bicentennial Park – Miami Big Cypress Seminole Reservation – Big Cypress Seminole Hard Rock Live – Hollywood House of Blues – Lake Buena Vista UCF Arena – Orlando Pensacola Civic Center – Pensacola Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater – Miami Hard Rock Live – Orlando St. Augustine Amphitheatre – St. Augustine King Center for Performing Arts – Melbourne Florida Theater – Jacksonville
The following venues in Florida are owned or controlled by Live Nation:
Cruzan Amphitheatre – West Palm Beach The Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason – Miami Ford Amphitheatre – Tampa Florida Theatre – Jacksonville Pompano Beach Amphitheater – Pompano Beach Big Cypress Indian Reservation – Big Cypress Seminole Hard Rock Live – Hollywood Bayfront Park Amphitheater – Miami House of Blues – Orlando Centre for the Arts at Mizner Park Amphitheater – Boca Raton City Limits – Delray BankAtlantic Center Sinatra Theater Tickets – Sunrise St. Lucie County Fairgrounds and Equestrian Center – St. Lucie Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall – Sarasota The Ritz Ybor – Tampa The Club at Firestone – Orlando Cameo – Miami
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