This week, ticketing giant Ticketmaster and concert promoter Live Nation confirmed a merger deal that would result in the new Live Nation Entertainment. Michael Hershfield, CEO for ticket resale upstart LiveStub, discussed the potential ramifications of the merger with Business News Network. (See the video below.)
The deal, estimated to be worth $2.5 billion, is still subject to approval by both companies’ shareholders and scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission. However, the prospect of a finalized and approved merger has raised antitrust concerns within the industry.
Such a merger would create a monopoly through the “control of horizontal strengths,” argued Hershfield, with Ticketmaster and Live Nation essentially holding monopolies in the ticket and performance industries, respectively. He reasoned that, in the end, it’s not merely the ticket industry’s smaller players who will lose, but also the consumers.
“Consumers are really getting hurt because they don’t know how tickets are being fed into the market. They don’t know who is abusing them to get that extra dollar,” Hershfield noted.