Live Nation and Ticketmaster Merger Complete, Now Wal-Mart Enters Mix?

I think I can speak for many music fans out there by saying the approval by the Department of Justice to approve the merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster is bad news.  Good news if you are invested in one or both of the companies, sure.  I just want to go to a concert and not pay an arm and a leg, know what I mean?

In a recent article posted by the Headcount blog, there seems to be a universal consensus that this business deal will forever change the music industry.  To what degree, no one really knows.  However, Live Nation and Ticketmaster will now control artists, venues, merchandise, and ticket sales.  The only ray of light came from the announcement that Live Nation would begin selling tickets through 500 Wal-Mart outlets, which is notorious for selling products at lower prices.  Maybe this is a sign that Live Nation and Ticketmaster are aware that consumers are penny pinching?

Still, this merger may not bode well for independent musicians and promoters.  The L.A. Times Pop & Hiss Blog provided details about some of the concerns by independent promoters:

The newly formed Live Nation Entertainment is an instant, one-stop shop for artists and promoters, and the Justice Department is calling for a “firewall” to prevent the sharing of information between departments. The new firm has the ability to book concerts, sell tickets and merchandise, and, with management company Front Line, direct access to such name acts as the Eagles, Jimmy Buffett, Neil Diamond, Van Halen, Fleetwood Mac, Christina Aguilera and more.

“That’s where the concern is,” said Jordan Kurland, whose Zeitgeist Management represents Death Cab for Cutie, She & Him, Grizzly Bear and more. “When you look at the intersection of Ticketmaster, Live Nation and Front Line? Information is power, and they will have a lot of it.”

On the other hand, not everyone was opposed the business merger.  As a reminder, Billy Corgan, from Smashing Pumpkins, appeared before the judiciary committee in support of the merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster.  You can see Corgan’s testimony below:

For the full story about Corgan’s appearance, visit Stereogum.

I love going to concerts, but I frankly refuse to pay over a certain amount for the majority of concerts.  I still remember the days when I paid between 20 – 30  bucks to see Metallica, Megadeth and many others.  Now, depending on the artist, tickets can cost $50 for the cheap seats.

Despite the concerns and the possibility that the merger may violate anti-trust laws, it is moving forward.  Bummer…

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