January 8, 2010
Washington, DC — As Ticketmaster and Live Nation stockholders voted today to approve moving forward with the proposed merger, the public interest and live event industry members of the TicketDisaster.org coalition released the following statement urging the Department of Justice to look toward the interests of consumers and competition by refusing concessions and blocking the merger:
“Fifty members of Congress have been joined by thousands of consumers who have contacted the Department of Justice and demanded action to protect competition and choice in the live entertainment industry,” said Sally Greenberg, Executive Director of the National Consumers League, a founding member of the TicketDisaster.org coalition. “The only parties who appear to be in favor of this deal are Ticketmaster and Live Nation, themselves. Consumers know that if approved, this deal will lead to higher prices, worse service, and fewer options for live events.”
“Stockholder approval should not be confused with public approval, and the companies’ bottom lines should not be compared to the public interest,” said David Balto, former Federal Trade Commission policy director and counsel to the consumer and industry groups. “While this move is necessary for the companies to proceed, it has no impact on alleviating antitrust concerns or DOJ’s decision in how to move forward.”
“It is the legal responsibility of the Antitrust Division to halt anti-competitive consolidations, and this remarkable consolidation of a large section of the entertainment industry presents the Obama Administration with its first highly visible opportunity to show they will be taking that role seriously,” said Bert Foer, President of the American Antitrust Institute. “The antitrust and consumer protection communities are watching this one like a hawk, and we have strong reason to believe DOJ will show up for this fight.”
For more information, please visit www.TicketDisaster.org.