James Hurwitz, author of a 58-page White Paper against the proposed merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation, will be one of the keynote speakers at Ticket Summit, July 15-17 at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas.
Hurwitz is a retiree from the Federal Trade Commission, where he specialized in competition policy matters for the Office of the General Counsel and Bureau of Competition, and he wrote the report for the American Antitrust Institute. To read the report click here.
Hurwitz will be one of the keynote speakers who will discuss the proposed merger, and he will be joined by Don Vaccaro, CEO and founder of TicketNetwork, parent company of Ticket Summit and TicketNews.
“I cannot imagine this merger going ahead in the way it’s styled now,” Hurwitz told TicketNews. “What’s happened in the primary ticket market is that there’s too much concentration of power [for Ticketmaster Entertainment].”
Hurwitz sees little that the two companies can do to make the move palatable in his eyes, because they would carry too much vertical power. The only exception would be to massively restructure the two companies and break them up into several smaller entities, which, he acknowledges, is something the two companies would probably not agree to do.
“The vertical aspects of the merger are also problematic. The merger is between two, already vertically integrated firms. Live Nation now ranks first in event promotion, second in venue management, and second in primary ticket sales, while Ticketmaster ranks first in artist management, first in primary ticket sales, and second in secondary market ticket sales,” Hurwitz wrote in the report. “If the combination is permitted, Live Nation Entertainment [the planned name of the merged companies] will have a powerful or dominant position in virtually all of the industry’s markets. Viewed in combination, the merger will give Live Nation Entertainment unarguable control of most competition within the industry, including the capacity to foreclose or discipline rivals that seek to compete vigorously in any individual market.”