Ticketmaster, the world’s largest live event ticketing company, began in 1976. Albert Leffler, Peter Gadwa, Gordon Gunn, Charles H Hamby Jr., and Jerry Nelson founded it with a focus on computerized ticketing solutions. Evolving into a global powerhouse, the company merged with Live Nation, creating the largest live event promoter and ticketing operation.

Initially, the company focused  on pioneering computerized systems, replacing paper tickets with barcode technology. This innovation boosted efficiency, setting a new industry standard. Throughout its history, it expanded services and partnerships, granting fans unprecedented access to live events.

Its dominance stems from its extensive network of partnerships with venues, artists, promoters, and sports teams, granting it access to a wide range of events globally.

However, Ticketmaster’s dominance sparked controversies. Critics argue that Ticketmaster’s market dominance can limit consumer choice and lead to higher prices for tickets. Accusations of inflating ticket prices and harming consumers persist.

In one famous example, the band Pearl Jam engaged in a highly publicized feud with Ticketmaster in the 1990s. The band was one of many who objected to the company’s huge share of the market, which it said led to inflated prices for fans. It attempted to bypass the company, only to cancel their 1994 tour when they said it was impossible to offer tickets at fair prices or tour without performing in venues with exclusive contracts with the ticketing company.

The company, along with Live Nation, faced antitrust accusations and a Department of Justice consent decree post-merger. That consent decree was extended after a settlement with the DOJ in 2019.

Despite challenges and competition from other ticketing platforms and secondary marketplaces, Ticketmaster continues to maintain a significant presence in the industry, offering a wide array of events and services to millions of fans worldwide.