Ticketmaster, Live Nation merge

Molly Scrieber

Over the past decade, the price of concert tickets has risen considerably.  The steady increase can be blamed on the monopolization of the industry by a few powerful companies. 

On Jan. 25, the future of concerts got even gloomier. 

 The merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster, two of the most dominant companies in the business, was outlined by the Department of Justice. 

This merger could be devastating to independent concert promoters as well as fans, leading to catapulting prices and the concentration of control within the companies. 

Jerry Mickelson, co-founder of Jam Productions, a Chicago-based concert promotion company, explains, “This merger is much larger than just the ticketing business. [It could] monopolize the entire music industry.”

 This fear is a legitimate one, as many independent promoters are selling their companies to Live Nation. 

While the Department of Justice recognized the fact that the merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster will probably contribute to higher ticket prices and less intimate shows, they approved the merger.

 While there are some limitations, it’s likely that the federal court will approve the merger as well. 

While the consolidation of the two entities poses a threat to fans, promoters and venues, the deal could also lead to concert packages. 

Furthermore, this deal may lead to more corporate sponsorships, which would add salt to an already gaping wound.  

Instead of pinpointing the focus on the performers and their music, venues will be wrought with corporate advertising and high prices. 

After robbing fans of their money and promoters of their business, this merger could also strip concertgoers of their experience as well.  

If approved, which seems likely, ticket prices will be set by Live Nation-Ticketmaster. 

The new powerhouse company would have control in virtually every aspect of the music business, including talent representation, promotion and ticketing. 

The buzzword of the merger, “vertical integration,” has been tossed around in order to show the totality of the merger. 

Everyone from the promoters to the bartenders in the venues will be affected by the consolidation of control, making it impossible to predict the extent of damage that could ensue.

This backlash is not coming strictly from  strictly music fans and independent promoters, however. Artists themselves are also speaking out against the problems that will arise from the merger.  

Many acts, ranging from independent bands to artists like Bruce Springsteen, don’t want to be a part of the “monopolization” of the music industry. 

On the other hand, big acts like     Jay-Z and Madonna have struck deals with Live Nation.

Meanwhile, artists like Jimmy Buffett and Guns N’ Roses are represented by Front Line Management, an offshoot of Ticketmaster. 

The merger has not been finalized and is awaiting the court’s decision. 

Despite the fact that it has not been confirmed, the music world is still aflutter. 

If Live Nation-Ticketmaster takes the reins, the retaliation will be unpredictable and widespread. In the meantime, music fans and artists will be waiting with crossed fingers.