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AEG and eBay Inc. announce global ticketing partnership

AEG and eBay Inc. announce global ticketing partnership

By Jean Henegan

The dominance of ticketing giant Ticketmaster was dealt a blow on Monday, November 12, 2012, with the official announcement that AEG and eBay, the owner of secondary ticketing titan StubHub, will be teaming up to sell tickets to AEG's more than 100 worldwide venues.

One of the world's premiere sports and entertainment presenters, AEG has spent the past several years adding high profile venues throughout the United States to its already impressive cache, as well as launching AXS Ticketing, its very own primary ticketing site for the venues under AEG's control. AXS Ticketing is currently the sole source for primary tickets for AEG owned venues such as London, England's O2 Arena, Kansas City, MO's Sprint Center, and the recently added Target Center of Minneapolis, MN. Los Angeles, CA's Staples Center is expected to make the transition to AXS Ticketing in early 2013.

The announced partnership between AEG and StubHub, the most popular secondary ticketing site, will give StubHub the exclusive secondary ticketing rights to all events held at any of AEG's worldwide venues as well as secondary ticketing rights for events sold through AXS Ticketing. While the financial terms of the deal have not been released, specifics regarding the roll out of the new partnership have been disclosed.

The partnership is expected to officially begin in early 2013, with StubHub's integration into AXS Ticketing and AEG venues as the official secondary ticketing source for events. According to the joint press release from the companies, StubHub will "provide a barcode cancel/re-issue solution for the seamless transfer of tickets between buyers and sellers." In addition to the exclusive use of StubHub as its secondary ticketing source, AEG will also adopt PayPal, which is also owned by eBay, as one of its official means of online payment.

While StubHub continues to hold the distinction of being the top secondary ticketing resale source within the United States, the site is still fighting for international recognition, recently launching its UK site into an already crowded market. eBay believes its partnership with AEG will allow StubHub to make additional inroads into the highly prized international market.

"Today, StubHub is largely a domestic U.S. business," Devin Wenig, president of eBay's marketplaces told The Wall Street Journal. "This is a significant move to globalize StubHub."

Wenig also told The Wall Street Journal that he foresees the partnership allowing eBay to pass on tricks of the trade to AEG to make the company's continuing foray into the world of online ticket sales continue to flow smoothly. "The venue has a mobile app," said Wenig, offering a hypothetical situation to The Wall Street Journal. "The mobile app directs you to your parking spot, the mobile app can show you where your seat is, the mobile app can help you order food and drink."

While the partnership is still a few months away from officially launching, both companies see it as a means to strengthen their presence both in the United States and abroad. "eBay is one of the most complete and well-rounded ecommerce and technology companies in the world and pairing our combined capabilities and global reach is an exciting opportunity" said Tim Leiweke, president and CEO, AEG in a press release. "This partnership will help bring even deeper digital resources and online marketing reach to the AXS Ticketing platform and will allow us to continue to transform the live event fan experience."

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