In North America, one of the arguably largest sources of consumer issues in ticketing is the lack of competition that would foster lower prices and product improvements in the space. Live Nation Entertainment is the world’s largest event promoter, dwarfing even its closest competitors. It owns Ticketmaster, which dwarfs all competition in the ticketing space. There is a similar dynamic with AEG – another promotional giant – and AXS – it’s in-house ticketing agent. 

Ticketing agreements between venues and companies are often exclusive – if one building wants to have Ticketmaster, that means ONLY Ticketmaster. If it wants AXS, that’s for every event in the venue. This fact, coupled with the fact that ticketing companies are part of larger organizations with enormous leverage in where shows go that can make or break a venue’s livelihood are a questionable way of doing business, in terms of things that are good for competition and consumers.

In other countries, this is actually not the norm. And that’s typically to the consumer’s benefit.


In much of the overseas market, venues and ticketing companies do not have exclusive contracts. Instead, promoters allocate blocks of tickets to multiple sellers for any particular show, meaning consumers have multiple options to choose from for tickets to the same event. 


One of the only places where we can look at this kind of competitive impact on the fees being charged consumers in the United States is at the Arena in Los Angeles. 

That building houses two NBA franchises, which are ticketed by two different vendors. the Lakers are a Ticketmaster client, while the Clippers are on the AXS platform. According to a survey by the Sports Fans Coalition, Ticketmaster charges 23% fees on Laker tickets. A high amount, for sure, but it is less than half of their average fee across all clients in the same league. That’s likely because Clippers tickets sold through AXS are subject to a 14% fee, which seemingly serves as a competitive bulwark against Ticketmaster ratcheting up its fees.

“Competition, even within venues, is good for fans,” concluded SFC’s Brian Hess in testimony sent to the Connecticut General Assembly as it considered legislation in 2023.