Site launches against LN/Ticketmaster merger
Informs the public about the deal's possible impactMembers of Congress, public interest advocates and ticket brokers have teamed up to launch a new Web site that aims to inform the public about the possible impact of the proposed merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation.
The site, ticketdisaster.org, lists five bullet points about how the merger could negatively impact the consumers and the live entertainment business. Some of the key issues include how the merger could potentially raise concert ticket prices and further promote anti-competitive practices in the live entertainment business.
The site also provides links to congress members and the Justice Department, with the purpose of encouraging music fans to speak against the merger.
Ticketdisaster.org was launched Wednesday in a partnership between Consumer Action, the Consumer Federation of America, the National Association of Ticket Brokers, the National Consumers League and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
The announcement came today during a press conference on Capitol Hill led by U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ). Other congressman in attendance included Rep. Joseph Courtney (D-CT), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT).
"All of us agree that it was time to take this fight to the seats. That's where the fans are, and they are the people who have had virtually no opportunity to represent their interests in the pending merger of these two companies -- until now," Pascrell said in a statement. "These Web sites will give the fan, the ticket buyers, the information they need to understand how they will be affected by the proposed merger as well as give them the chance to voice their opposition to the pending deal to the U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust authorities."
Pascrell was among those who testified against the merger earlier this year before the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee.
Other attendees at the news conference were David Balto, senior Fellow, center for American Progress and former FTC Policy director; Sally Greenberg, executive director, National Consumers League; Tom Patania, immediate past president, National Association of Ticket Brokers; Bert Foer, president, American Antitrust Institute; and Seth Hurwitz, owner of the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.
The Justice Department continues to examine the $2.5 billion merger between Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger, and the shareholders of the companies will vote on it Jan. 8, 2010. The DOJ is expected to make its decision soon.