Ticket distributor Ticketmaster and concert promoter Live Nation have been hoping to merge. Britain’s antitrust regulator objected today in a preliminary ruling. It believes the merger would severely limit competition and hurt consumers. I think it’s right, and its decision is something of a no-brainer.
Let’s break it down. Imagine you want to go see a concert. Since Live Nation has, by far, the strongest influence in the concert space, you will probably be going to one they promoted or produced. So to buy those tickets? Well, you probably have to go through Ticketmaster, since it has vast control over concert ticket distribution.
How cornered would they have the market? According to this CNN Money article from back in February about the proposed merger, their combined market share would be close to 80%. If that isn’t a threshold for antitrust regulation, then I’m not sure what is.
It makes sense business-wise for them, but as a frequent concert attender I am concerned about prices sky-rocketing.