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Author: Subject: Ticketmaster Hit with $ 500 Million Lawsuit

Peach Extraordinaire





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  posted on 2/10/2009 at 07:35 AM
Bosses of a leading ticket agency who were forced to apologize to Bruce Springsteen and his fans in a controversy over sales for the rocker's upcoming tour are facing a $500 million lawsuit over the practice used to sell their tickets.

Fans of the Born To Run hit maker were angry when they were unable to buy certain seats from the Ticketmaster.com website, and were redirected to another agency, TicketsNow, which charged a higher price.

Ticketmaster chiefs apologized for the blunder, promising it wouldn't happen again and offering a refund to any fans who paid over the odds as a result.

But now the firm's heads have found themselves at the center of a class-action lawsuit which alleges the company is diverting tickets to TicketsNow as part of a "disgraceful" conspiracy to force customers to pay the highest possible price for sporting and entertainment events.

The suit was filed on behalf of Henryk Krajewski of Toronto, who in September purchased two tickets for a Smashing Pumpkins show at Massey Hall from TicketsNow for $533.65. The tickets would have cost about $130 if they had been available from Ticketmaster.

This resale practice violates anti-scalping provisions laid out in Ontario's Ticket Speculation Act, according to the statement of action filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

The defendants "wrongfully, unlawfully (and) maliciously conspired" to sell tickets at a higher price, alleges the suit, which seeks $500 million in damages for the conspiracy and $10 million for punitive damages.

The court documents state, "Ticketmaster and Ticketmaster Canada divert consumer traffic from their Web sites to the TicketsNow Web site. This practice is designed to ensure the sale of tickets at the highest price possible price, and, in all cases, at a price substantially higher than the price at which the tickets were first issued.

"Henryk pleads that the conduct of the defendants was high-handed, outrageous, reckless, wanton, entirely without care, deliberate, callous, disgraceful, wilful and motivated by economic considerations," reads the statement.

Ticketmaster has not yet filed a statement of defense.

Ticketmaster purchased TicketsNow last year for $265 million, and takes a percentage of every resale through the company in addition to the original services charges it levied at the point of initial purchase.

Copyright WENN.com

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 2/10/2009 at 07:49 AM
Where do I sign up? Although I think in the case of Beacon, scalping is legal in NY.

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 2/10/2009 at 08:00 AM
I wonder though, even in Ny, I'm sure something is wrong with what TM is doing, seems somebody has to buy the tix before they can re-scalp them..........Peace.........joe
 

Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 2/10/2009 at 08:17 AM
quote:
Where do I sign up? Although I think in the case of Beacon, scalping is legal in NY.


I know were I'm at [ Ill. ] I live across the river from Ky. which is no sales above face...

I know when I go to St. Louis they have a no selling @ any price unless you are a broker....
I tryed to sell a Page Plant ticket back in 95 & the cop told me this out front of the Savis Center.
He pointed across the street & said to go over there & I'd be fine selling it [ with 50 more folks ]...LOL....

Now Nashville one night I bought a grass seat for the ABB & within seconds of turning from the counter , an old hippie said " ya want front row " and handed me 2 second row tix......dead center.... We were so jacked & looking at the tix....that dude sliped off before we could get a good look at him......
Thats when a cop saw this & smiled & said " I saw nothing , just move on...." I told her that " dude just gave them to me & no money changed hands " so I asume no sales in TN.

It's a start......

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 2/10/2009 at 09:36 AM
$500 Million isn't enough IMO. They deserve much much worse. This has been going on for years. Talk about karma. Heh! choke on it Ticketbastard

 

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  posted on 2/10/2009 at 11:41 AM
quote:
$500 Million isn't enough IMO. They deserve much much worse. This has been going on for years. Talk about karma. Heh! choke on it Ticketbastard

amen brother

 

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  posted on 2/10/2009 at 01:06 PM
Finally.....
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/10/2009 at 01:20 PM
I dislike Ticketmaster as much as anyone, I think (although it's true that nobody has a right to concert tickets...), but you guys DO realize how this case would be paid for if TM lost, right?

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 2/10/2009 at 01:24 PM
quote:
I dislike Ticketmaster as much as anyone, I think (although it's true that nobody has a right to concert tickets...), but you guys DO realize how this case would be paid for if TM lost, right?


I also believe that with half a billion at stake TM will pay more for lawyers than the class action will...

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 2/10/2009 at 01:55 PM
I would like to see them sued into liquidation. I believe they are an unethical business, and a monopoly. If somebody wants to book and promote a concert, print and sell the tickets themselves. Ain't that big a deal.
 
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  posted on 2/10/2009 at 02:41 PM
Well, TB & Live Nation officially announced their merger plans today...I have a feeling this is going to come under extreme scrutiny both from a anti-trust side and exploring TB's current ticket practices as well....Apparently, Bruce has "friends" in high places.

According to an official press release, the boards of Live Nation and Ticketmaster have agreed to terms to merge the two companies into one massive live-music giant called Live Nation Entertainment. Although Live Nation recently launched its own ticketing service and signed artists like Madonna and Jay-Z to huge contracts, and Ticketmaster joined forces with Irving Azoff’s Front Line Management (which oversees the careers of superstars like Guns n’ Roses and Christina Aguilera), both companies have seen their stock shares plummet and relationships with consumers sour in recent weeks. Rolling Stone reported on the possible merger last week; the two companies hope to complete it by the second half of 2009.

According to the press release, Live Nation and Ticketmaster will combine their ticketing, marketing, data centers and back-offices. “The companies will be combined in a tax-free, all-stock merger of equals with a combined enterprise value of approximately $2.5 billion,” it reads. “Under the agreement, Ticketmaster shareholders will receive 1.384 shares of Live Nation common stock for each share of Ticketmaster they own, subject to certain adjustments defined within the agreement. Live Nation and Ticketmaster shareholders will each own approximately 50 percent of the combined company.”

So how will this affect consumers? In light of the two companies’ recent battles with Phish and Bruce Springsteen fans due to bungled onsales, the announcement promises Live Nation Entertainment will improve access and transparency, create more choice in ticket price options, invest in better ticketing technology and increase event attendance. On a conference call today, Ticketmaster blamed a glitch involving Visa credit cards for the Springsteen debacle, saying the cards froze the system and routed fans to Tickets Now.

While it sounds good on paper for both sides, the merger will likely face a significant antitrust battle as it appears the two companies will be forming a ticketing monopoly. Ticketmaster has faced such allegations in the past; joining forces with the company that was supposed to serve as its competition will likely garner a long look from both the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission.

Bruce Springsteen has already spoken out against the merger, saying, “The one thing that would make the current ticket situation even worse for the fan than it is now would be Ticketmaster and Live Nation coming up with a single system, thereby returning us to a near monopoly situation in music ticketing. If you, like us, oppose that idea, you should make it known to your representatives.” Springsteen now has a friend in the Oval Office who said in 2007, “Antitrust helps to keep that system in force. It addresses the temptation that some businesses will sometimes experience, to merge with key rivals instead of outperforming them, to agree not to compete too hard, or to sabotage rivals’ efforts to serve consumers instead of redoubling their own.” It’s safe to assume Live Nation Entertainment’s journey toward approval will certainly be Sisyphusian.

 

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  posted on 2/10/2009 at 02:50 PM
quote:
Well, TB & Live Nation officially announced their merger plans today...I have a feeling this is going to come under extreme scrutiny both from a anti-trust side and exploring TB's current ticket practices as well....Apparently, Bruce has "friends" in high places.

According to an official press release, the boards of Live Nation and Ticketmaster have agreed to terms to merge the two companies into one massive live-music giant called Live Nation Entertainment. Although Live Nation recently launched its own ticketing service and signed artists like Madonna and Jay-Z to huge contracts, and Ticketmaster joined forces with Irving Azoff’s Front Line Management (which oversees the careers of superstars like Guns n’ Roses and Christina Aguilera), both companies have seen their stock shares plummet and relationships with consumers sour in recent weeks. Rolling Stone reported on the possible merger last week; the two companies hope to complete it by the second half of 2009.

According to the press release, Live Nation and Ticketmaster will combine their ticketing, marketing, data centers and back-offices. “The companies will be combined in a tax-free, all-stock merger of equals with a combined enterprise value of approximately $2.5 billion,” it reads. “Under the agreement, Ticketmaster shareholders will receive 1.384 shares of Live Nation common stock for each share of Ticketmaster they own, subject to certain adjustments defined within the agreement. Live Nation and Ticketmaster shareholders will each own approximately 50 percent of the combined company.”

So how will this affect consumers? In light of the two companies’ recent battles with Phish and Bruce Springsteen fans due to bungled onsales, the announcement promises Live Nation Entertainment will improve access and transparency, create more choice in ticket price options, invest in better ticketing technology and increase event attendance. On a conference call today, Ticketmaster blamed a glitch involving Visa credit cards for the Springsteen debacle, saying the cards froze the system and routed fans to Tickets Now.

While it sounds good on paper for both sides, the merger will likely face a significant antitrust battle as it appears the two companies will be forming a ticketing monopoly. Ticketmaster has faced such allegations in the past; joining forces with the company that was supposed to serve as its competition will likely garner a long look from both the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission.

Bruce Springsteen has already spoken out against the merger, saying, “The one thing that would make the current ticket situation even worse for the fan than it is now would be Ticketmaster and Live Nation coming up with a single system, thereby returning us to a near monopoly situation in music ticketing. If you, like us, oppose that idea, you should make it known to your representatives.” Springsteen now has a friend in the Oval Office who said in 2007, “Antitrust helps to keep that system in force. It addresses the temptation that some businesses will sometimes experience, to merge with key rivals instead of outperforming them, to agree not to compete too hard, or to sabotage rivals’ efforts to serve consumers instead of redoubling their own.” It’s safe to assume Live Nation Entertainment’s journey toward approval will certainly be Sisyphusian.



Obviously Springsteen is a commie anti-capitalist liberal union sympathizer....

 

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  posted on 2/10/2009 at 04:02 PM
I hope they're shakin' in their boots...those a-holes.

Seems like concerts are going to be for the wealthy only, if TM/LN have a monopoly. I am dreaming of the days of the '70s when tix were around $10, and even the '80s when they were around $30.

 

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  posted on 2/10/2009 at 04:16 PM
quote:
Seems like concerts are going to be for the wealthy only, if TM/LN have a monopoly. I am dreaming of the days of the '70s when tix were around $10, and even the '80s when they were around $30.


Not if you see shows at your local small (Stone Pony) to mid-sized (Starland Ballroom) venue, which is where I spend my primary concert dollars these days. Works just fine for me.

I will catch Coldplay and Foo Fighters and others who've gotten too expensive of late on their way back down. I can wait

 

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  posted on 2/10/2009 at 07:41 PM
"I hate their service" isn't enough for a successful lawsuit, so we'll have to see how this plays out. Funneling people to TicketsNow seems over the line even though there isn't anything wrong with the service itself...

We'll see if the current FTC is more interested in antitrust laws now than it was for the last eight years. My experience is that if two big companies want to get together, the government usually doesn't want to get in the way.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 2/10/2009 at 07:44 PM
quote:
"I hate their service" isn't enough for a successful lawsuit, so we'll have to see how this plays out. Funneling people to TicketsNow seems over the line even though there isn't anything wrong with the service itself...

We'll see if the current FTC is more interested in antitrust laws now than it was for the last eight years. My experience is that if two big companies want to get together, the government usually doesn't want to get in the way.


Money talks, and bullsh!t walks......

 

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  posted on 2/10/2009 at 07:49 PM
quote:
Obviously Springsteen is a commie anti-capitalist liberal union sympathizer....
ehhh??? brofan is rbk??? (and you know I'm kidding here, Rich ... just sounded kind of familiar... )

[Edited on 2/11/2009 by lolasdeb]

 

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  posted on 2/10/2009 at 08:09 PM
quote:
quote:
Obviously Springsteen is a commie anti-capitalist liberal union sympathizer....
ehhh??? brofan is rbk??? (and you know I'm kidding here, Rich ... just sounded kind of familiar... )

[Edited on 2/11/2009 by lolasdeb]


I know....can't you feel the sarcasm in my post?

I am HUGE Bruce fan, BTW.....

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 2/11/2009 at 03:51 PM
Headline of the day:


"Live Nation to acquire Ticketmaster for $2.5 billion, plus $700 million in convenience charges."

 

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  posted on 2/11/2009 at 03:57 PM
quote:
Headline of the day:


"Live Nation to acquire Ticketmaster for $2.5 billion, plus $700 million in convenience charges."


HA HA HA!

 

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  posted on 2/11/2009 at 04:53 PM
I'm not one to jump into class action suits, however I'm ready to dive head first into this one. It can start with repayment of excessive fees for all tickets bought within the last 10 years and then the dissolution of TicketsNow.
 

Peach Master



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  posted on 2/13/2009 at 12:18 PM
quote:
Headline of the day:


"Live Nation to acquire Ticketmaster for $2.5 billion, plus $700 million in convenience charges."


Billy, I LOVE the Lefsetz Letter!

 

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