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Tickets, please

The potential Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger sounds like a bad deal for those of us who actually like to attend live events, be it sports, concerts or otherwise. If you think purchasing tickets has bad surcharges now, imagine what it will be like when two ticket giants like Live Nation and Ticketmaster become one. Without any competition, the new monster will be able to put whatever extra charges on a ticket purchase it sees fit. Without the specter of “I’ll take my business to your competitors” to scare them away, companies like the new TickemasterNation won’t have to fear consumer blow back, because if you want to go see the Los Angeles Lakers play bad enough, and if the new TicketMonster is the only game in town, you’ll pay what they tell you to or you’ll be watching Kobe Bryant do his thing on television.

Without the luxury (Right?) of competitive choice, what recourse do you have if you are unsatisfied with the services rendered? Exactly. And that’s what a merger like this is counting on. It’s a nasty circle that must be stopped before it’s allowed to propagate. Thankfully, The US Justice Department seems to have the same concern:

Proposals to date haven’t resolved Justice Department concerns that a deal joining the biggest ticketing company with the largest concert promoter would harm competition, said two people, who declined to be identified because the deliberations are private. A decision isn’t expected by tomorrow, when shareholders will vote on the deal, a third person said.

Even with the Justice Department watching our fair-market backs, there still more you, the consumer, can do: Remind them you don’t want the merger to go through either. Change.org has a contact form allowing you to inform the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice to protect the ticket-buyer from even further “additional charge” gouging at the hands of the a newly-formed cash-eating behemoth the merger will create. Considering the level of inflation ticket prices have faced (82% in seven years), the lack of action and communication could have drastic effects on how we, the ones who actually buy the products these companies are offering, attend live events.

It’s important to remember the power consumers have, a power we don’t yield enough, unless we are buying the newest touch-screen gadget. Keep in mind, however, this power goes beyond our willingness to spend. If our criticisms are loud enough, we can’t be ignored. Considering the consumer power a Ticketmaster/LiveNation merger would take, it’s important to let your voice of dissension be heard.

Disclaimer — IntentionalFoul.com is owned by TicketSolutions.com, a secondary ticket provider. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember a merger of such magnitude has a larger effect on you the consumer. Individual purchasers are the main revenue source for a company like Ticketmaster and LiveNation. If they merge, their ability to control whatever additional costs they choose to add on could drastically alter the way we attend live events. If “Surcharge A” is allowed to become “Surcharge A, B, and C,” a tactic Ticketmaster is notorious for, it will be the consumer who has to bear the burden.

Please allow us to to continue to provide you with premium seats at the lowest possible cost. Let your voice be heard and stand up to the Ticketmaster/LiveNation monopoly.