The ax is falling at the nation’s dominant ticket company.
In a move the company foreshadowed when it said it was looking to cut $35 million from its operations, Ticketmaster is preparing to layoff hundreds of employees as it looks to streamline its business in the face of mounting competition.
The company is reportedly cutting about 5 percent of its worldwide workforce, or a total of about 300 jobs, some of which may come from its online divisions. As of this morning, October 22, news of the layoffs kept the company’s stock (symbol: TKTM) trading at about $11 per share, roughly about 4 percent below its Tuesday close. See the ticker below.
Ticketmaster officials did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
At the end of the summer when it was spun off from parent company IAC/InterActiveCorp, Ticketmaster’s stock was trading at a high of about $27 per share, but concerns about the business have increased as an aggressive Live Nation stepped up its efforts to split from Ticketmaster and build its own ticketing operation.
The company went on a spending spree earlier in the year when it acquired TicketsNow, ticketing solutions provider Paciolan and British secondary ticket company GetMeIn!, all designed to help it bolster its position in the industry, move more forcefully into new markets and stave off the loss of Live Nation. But with all those acquisitions came some duplication of services, hence some of the layoffs.
“I think all consumer-facing companies are looking at ways to improve efficiency in this environment so this makes sense,” Scott Devitt, managing director, Internet Consumer Services for Stifel, Nicolaus & Company Inc., told TicketNews. “While there is not data yet to support it, I think the event ticketing industry could feel some meaningful effects in 2009 from the difficult economy and its impact on discretionary consumer spending.”