May 16, 2009 By Alfred Branch Jr.
Is this a little case of jumping the gun?
It’s no secret that Ticketmaster Entertainment and Live Nation are hoping to close on their proposed $2.5 billion merger deal in the second half of the year, and the CEOs of both companies have expressed their confidence that the deal will be receive federal regulatory approval some time in the next few months.
But, it appears that the two companies don’t want to wait that long before announcing that they’re a team.
For some concerts, Ticketmaster customers are being redirected from that Web site over to the Live Nation Web site, at which point they’re greeted by a pop-up that reads, “We are redirecting you to our ticketing partner site, Live Nation, where you will be able to purchase your tickets.”
Click on the image below to see a full-size screen shot.
While eerily similar to how customers were allegedly shuttled between Ticketmaster and its TicketsNow subsidiary, which prompted a blizzard of complaints, the tickets on Live Nation are also sold at face value like on Ticketmaster (on the secondary market company TicketsNow tickets resold at higher prices, hence the complaints). But, technically the two companies are not partners since the merger has not been finalized, and Live Nation’s previous ticketing deal with Ticketmaster expired at the end of December.
Live Nation spokesperson John Vlautin told TicketNews that the wording in the pop-up is just that, and the whole thing is much ado about nothing.
“As I’m sure you know we sell millions of tickets through Ticketmaster.com for shows we produce in venues we don’t own around the world. Our job is to help fans find tickets to the shows they want to go to. So we link to Ticketmaster (as we do to other ticketing companies who handle venues in which we are producing shows) and they link to us. It’s just business as usual and is in no way related to the merger,” he said.