Music News

Live Nation, SeatGeek, Antitrust Inst. Heads Scheduled for Hearing

Dwell Nation Leisure President and CFO Joe Berchtold will signify the leisure big in Washington on Tuesday morning because the Senate Committee on the Judiciary holds its listening to on the dwell leisure and ticketing enterprise. “That’s the Ticket: Promoting Competition and Protecting Consumers in Live Entertainment” is scheduled for 10 a.m. on the Hart Senate Workplace Constructing, and will be streamed live for individuals who aren’t in a position to make it to Washington.

Others on the witness record launched by the committee embody SeatGeek CEO Jack Groetzinger, Jam Productions President/CEO Jerry Mickelson, singer-songwriter Clyde Lawrence, and a pair of leaders from opposing advocacy teams, Sal Nuzzo of the free market James Madison Institute and Kathleen Bradish of the American Antitrust Institute.

Tuesday’s listening to is anticipated to middle largely on Dwell Nation Leisure and its outsized position within the dwell leisure and ticketing enterprise. The leisure big that took place when Dwell Nation merged with Ticketmaster in 2009 – after having consolidated a lot of the largest regional live performance promotions companies in North America – has lengthy been accused by critics of working as a de facto monopoly. The listening to was scheduled within the wake of a contemporary wave of criticism following the messy presale in November for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour.

Dwell Nation and Ticketmaster have been dogged for years by allegations that they commonly violated the phrases of a 2010 consent decree that set out guidelines for the way the mixed firms must behave. A 2019 the Division of Justice investigation discovered quite a few cases of habits that violated the phrases of the settlement, however all of the leisure big acquired for the violations were some fines and an extension of the decree, which remains to be in impact to today. A new DOJ investigation is reportedly underway, coming to gentle within the wake of the Swift tour mess and subsequent calls by quite a few lawmakers to interrupt up the businesses.

“The problems inside America’s ticketing trade have been made painfully apparent when Ticketmaster’s web site failed a whole lot of 1000’s of followers hoping to buy tickets for Taylor Swift’s new tour, however these issues are usually not new,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar mentioned in a press launch asserting the listening to. Klobuchar is chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competitors Coverage, Antitrust, and Shopper Rights, which is main the listening to earlier than the complete Judiciary Committee. “For too lengthy, customers have confronted excessive charges, lengthy waits, and web site failures, and Ticketmaster’s dominant market place means the corporate faces insufficient stress to innovate and enhance.”

Groetzinger’s inclusion is each logical, and well-timed in lots of respects. SeatGeek has grown from its begin as a ticket resale market/search engine to a major ticketing service that has had success poaching a few of Ticketmaster/Dwell Nation’s shoppers lately. A number of NFL and NBA organizations use SeatGeek’s programs, as do their residence venues. The corporate has additionally made substantial headway within the dwell theatre world, in addition to a robust displaying in soccer, each within the U.S. and UK. The corporate was additionally concerned with ticketing the Taylor Swift tour in a handful of venues it has as shoppers, although all entry codes have been run by means of Ticketmaster’s “verified fan” system.

Simply final week, phrase got here that Brooklyn’s Barclays Heart was abruptly dropping SeatGeek in favor of Ticketmaster after simply over a yr in a long-term contract. No causes got for the swap, however it’s notable that knowledge signifies that in years previous to the COVID pandemic and its halt on dwell leisure, Barclays Heart averaged between 20-25 Dwell Nation-promoted excursions taking part in on the venue per yr. Since making the swap, solely 13 Dwell Nation reveals performed the Brooklyn enviornment, with acts together with Daddy Yankee, The Who, Publish Malone, Twenty One Pilots, Journey, Instrument, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish and a “one-night-only” efficiency by Harry Kinds have been routed by means of UBS Enviornment on Lengthy Island, which does use Ticketmaster as its ticketing agent.

Final Up to date on January 23, 2023 by Dave Clark

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