Today’s announced merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation is big news. The two companies are trying to quell fears that the deal will increase ticket prices. Here’s what Ticketmaster Chairman Barry Diller said about prices:
“Ticketmaster does not set prices. Live Nation does not set ticket prices. Artists set the prices,” Diller said.
The Associated Press writer was keen to point out that Diller did not mention the ticket surcharges that Ticketmaster is well known for.
While artists may set the ticket prices, Ticketmaster seems to find new and fun ways to charge its customers new supplemental fees. When I bought tickets for an event in San Jose last year, Ticketmaster wanted to charge me to print my tickets at home. This hardly seemed fair — while Ticketmaster paid to invest in the ticket-generating technology, I would have to pay for the ink, paper and printer in addition for this added fee. Needless to say, I opted for the cheapest method possible — delivered via first-class mail.
Public radio’s Marketplace had an interesting story about the fees last year. It also noted that Ticketmaster could have lost 10 percent of its business if a partnership between the company and Live Nation fell by the wayside. Clearly, this isn’t going to happen now.
With this merger in the works, who knows what fun ways Ticketmaster will charge people. Any ideas?