On The Soap Box

by oddbodkins on December 23, 2009

(Ed. Note: We normally steer clear of anything political ’round these parts. Personally, i think they’re all in cahoots, towards whichever side of the pendulum they claim to swing. i received a message earlier today from the 9:30 Club, though, that most likely impacts nearly all LET readers–the proposed merger between Ticket Master and Live Nation. Since they’ve gone to all the trouble of taking legitimate steps towards making sure this doesn’t happen, i’ll leave it to those hep cats to explain. Final word–i wrote and sent the proposed email suggested below. If you’re tired of getting charged exorbitant fees to hear live music, you should do the same.)

Concert Fans Beware!
There’s a train wreck about to happen and consumer groups say YOU will be the victim if the two most powerful corporate interests in the live concert business get their way. But you can help stop the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation. The government needs to hear from music fans now. Tell the Department of Justice that you’re against these monopolies amassing illegal power over consumers, before it’s too late.

As a concertgoer you have already felt the pain, and if Ticketmaster and Live Nation get their way, it’ll get worse. In the last 12 years, since Live Nation and its predecessor started its widespread takeover of the concert industry, concert ticket prices have shot up 82% while the consumer price index has gone up just 17%*. We are concerned that if the two concert industry behemoths, Live Nation and Ticketmaster, are permitted to merge, the variety and quality of artists coming to local venues will be affected, and your costs could rise further and faster.
Five of the nation’s most prominent public interest groups called on the Department of Justice to block the proposed merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation:

“Consumers deserve a fair deal in the entertainment marketplace, not the fewer choices and higher prices that would result from this merger,” said Susan Grant, Director of Consumer Protection at Consumer Federation of America

“This merger is an insult to both musicians and consumers,” said James Love, Director of Knowledge Ecology International
“We cannot envision a remedy that would ease this chilling impediment to competition… In the absence of other effective, expeditious remedies, the proposed transaction should be prohibited.” American Antitrust Institute White Paper

As described by Senator Herb Kohl (WI) in the House Antitrust hearing, “This merger will not only expand Ticketmaster’s control of the ticketing market by eliminating a competitor, but it is also creating an entity that will control the entire chain of the concert business – from artist management to concert promotion and production to ticketing and ticket resale.”

“This merger would be a disaster for consumers. Nothing short of blocking this takeover of the ticket market by two industry behemoths will be acceptable,” said National Consumers League Executive Director Sally Greenberg.

“As president, I will direct my administration to reinvigorate antitrust enforcement. I will step up review of merger activity and take effective action to stop or restructure those mergers that are likely to harm consumer welfare…,” said Senator Barack Obama when he was campaigning for the presidency.

If you agree with the consumer groups and lawmakers, make a difference and LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD NOW.

Send a message to the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice telling them you support President Obama’s campaign promise to protect the American public from abusive monopolies.

To learn more, check out:

ticketdisaster.org

Signed,

The 9:30 Club, I.M.P., Merriweather Post Pavilion, Jam Productions, Metropolitan Talent, Another Planet Entertainment, Frank Productions, Stone City Attractions, Rams Head Live, The Black Cat … and independent concert promoters and venue operators nationwide.

*Study by Princeton University economist Alan Krueger

mp3: Political Song (Brock, live at IOTA, 2-9-04)
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous December 29, 2009 at 5:23 am

I received a nearly-identically-worded email from JAM Productions. I am disturbed, though, because the routing headers on the email indicate that the mail was sent to me through a ticketmaster.com mail server. If your mail program (or service) allows you to see full headers, you might be surprised to see who actually sent that mail to you.

In addition, the "ticketdisaster.org" site mentioned at the end of the email seems to be a creation of the National Association of Ticket Brokers, an organization that represents a group of people who've done more than either Live Nation or Ticketmaster to jack up ticket prices past the point where average music fans can afford to see and support their favorite artists or sports teams.

To me, this is like having to award the Humanitarian of the Year Award to either Iran, North Korea, or al Qaeda.

Don, Evanston IL

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Terrible Chris December 29, 2009 at 7:09 am

Hunh. i did not know that.

i do know that when i sent my email using the links embedded in the email, there was a cc'd copy sent to a 9:30 Club address, but that's about all i can honestly say about that.

i'm confused, though. Why would the accused (Ticketmaster) be sending something like this out? i easily can see a competing group (Natl Assc of Ticket Brokers), but remain unclear on TM.

Well, if Mr. Don is correct, and this somehow is a nefarious plan to somehow pull a double reverse pysche out whammy on the powers that be that will somehow result in the opposite of what it seems to show, please disregard my earlier sentiment. i think.

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