Apparently Ticketmaster Doesn't Like Having Competition

from the and-so-it-goes dept

Remember back in the day when Ticketmaster was the absolute monopoly in ticket sales for various venues and events? You simply couldn’t avoid Ticketmaster and their ridiculous fees upon fees. A dozen years ago, Pearl Jam took on Ticketmaster, claiming that the company had a monopoly on ticket sales and were able to keep ticket price artificially high. Well, it appears that Ticketmaster doesn’t like the idea that the internet has brought in new competition. Three years ago, we noted that, due to competition from online resale sites, Ticketmaster was launching a new service to auction off tickets itself. However, sites like Stubhub, eBay and Craigslist appear to have much better traffic for such things — perhaps due to the public’s general dislike of Ticketmaster for years and years of ridiculous fees. Of course, when you have a monopoly that is being attacked by competitors, what do you do? You go to the government to get new legislation passed to help you hold onto your monopoly. Ticketmaster is trying to get laws passed that would make it illegal to sell tickets above face value… unless you have an arrangement with the venue and they share in some of the profits. Ticketmaster, of course, already has many such deals in place. They spin this as “protecting” ticket buyers from fake scalped tickets, but the other sites in the space note that bogus tickets aren’t a very big problem, and there are often other ways to deal with it. Instead, this looks like Ticketmaster is running to the government to help it keep its supposed monopoly in the face of competition.

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Comments on “Apparently Ticketmaster Doesn't Like Having Competition”

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Dale says:

The depth to which Ticketmaster has sunk

If you want to print out your Ticketmaster tickets at home, you have to pay them $2.50 for the priveledge. That’s right: use your own computer equipment, ink and paper; save Ticketmaster the labor, processing and postage fees and they still think they should get another fee out of you. What kind of debased executives run that company?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The depth to which Ticketmaster has sunk

Government of Ontario does this with plate renewals. You can visit a privately-run Driver and Vehicle Licence Offices and renew your vehicle in person (as in interacting with other people). Or you can renew your permit at a ServiceOntario kiosk (as in an ATM with no human beings) and be charged a $1 convenience fee. Lovely.

Celes says:

Re: Re: The depth to which Ticketmaster has sunk

Baltimore, MD is even worse. Got a $20 parking ticket? You’ve gotta shell out an additional $35 to pay it over the phone. Problem is, if you drive into the city to pay the ticket, the meters out front only last a half hour max, and you’re likely to incur *another* parking ticket while you’re waiting for them to process your payment…

PixelPusher220 says:

Re: The depth to which Ticketmaster has sunk

The ability to print the ticket immediately is a ‘feature’ I’m more than willing to pay for. Having the ‘ticket’ in my hand rather than betting whether the beauracracy of TM and it’s mailing houses and the USPS will ‘lose’ my ticket on the way to me.

5am3 says:

Re: Re: The depth to which Ticketmaster has sunk

a friend & i bought chili peppers tx last May from TM and he chose the print at home option (for the $2.50 fee!!!) and TM NEVER SENT HIM THE E-MAIL WITH HIS TIX. so he had to call TM multiple times to get them to send the tix again. they gave him such a hard time and finally e-mailed the tix again the day before the show—which was in November. so i guess the moral of the story is, even when you pay for an extra feature/convenience, it doesn’t really matter. because they don’t care. they already had his money.

Que says:

So let me get this straight. Ticketmaster, which has over-inflated ticket prices because they are a monopoly, is trying to pass lagislation against over-inflated ticket prices, which only exsist in a monopoly, unless they have a deal worked out?

Sounds like they’re shooting themselves in the foot…If I have a choice between an over-inlated ticket, and a face value ticket, I’m gonna go with the face value ticket.

Larry says:


I will go to great lengths to avoid getting tickets through Ticketmaster. Their arrogance and greed are stunning. Only out of sheer desparation will I buy anything through them. I will certainly vote against any political whore that might vote for legislation supporting their monopoly.

Wizard Prang (user link) says:

Re: Me too!

Some years ago I went to the box office to purchase tickets over the counter. When they told me that I had to pay a Ticketmaster fee I asked them “Why?”.

Their answer? “Because.”

I refused and walked away. I have been walking away from Ticketmaster ever since. Ticket prices are high enough without paying them money for old rope.

Peter says:

One of the reasons

I stopped going to concerts. Ticketmaster makes it such a miserable experience I just don’t go.

The ridiculous fees are exceeded only by their sales methods which insure that you – the seat holder – will never get a decent seat from them.

I’ll date myself here – in 1970 I mailed off $13 to a postbox in Madison Wisconsin and received in return 2 tickets for Jimi Hendrix – May 1st in Milwaukee – 6th row center. Forget the price – but adjusted for inflation that’s less than $70 – imagine making an offhand purchase from them and getting anything approaching those seats.

We used to see everybody when they came through and always had decent seats. When Ticketmaster took over all that came to a crashing halt.

Then you had to go to a “broker” to get good seats

Screw them


asshat says:

how about the way their online ticketing system automatically sticks you with the most expensive seat in a given area.

case in point. dodger stadium baseline seating ranges between $60- $200 per seat. the diference in distance from the field is miniscule. each seat is an excellent one. however if you try to purchase a baseline seat pnline you have no option to pick the $60 seat.

workaround. go to ballpark box office and bypass all handling fees and spend a day in LA traffic or go to the closest ticketmaster brick and mortar. here you can specify the exact seat. i won’t even talk about their fees.

yes they suck.

mike says:

ticketmaster legislation

Lets say the goverment does ban the sale of tickets for more than the face value. Here is what the new ebay or Craigslist adds will look like:

For sale 1 NY Giants hat $500, bonus gift two free tickets to Giants -vs- Cowboys Dec 3.

Nothing to stop folks from selling or buying a hat for $500. Nothing to stop the seller from giving two free tickets to go along with the hat.

VPR says:

Yeah, like this story is a huge shock to anyone.

Sports: I’d rather watch a little-league game in person & use the TV for the major games (while watching you fools cough up big bones just for the *slight* chance you’ll be on TV…oOo).

Music: Labels steal the artist’s money in record sales & ticketmaster steals when they’re on tour. Tell me, who are the pirates again?

Jeremy says:

I hate ticketmaster, I have not bought and wont ever buy another ticket from them. I used to buy ticketmaster tickets all the time. But I could not get over the fact that they wouldn’t give my money back after a show line up was changed. One of the advertised bands, the band I paid to see, wasn’t part of the final bill and they wouldn’t give my money back. Don’t buy from them no matter if your favorite act is only selling through ticketmaster…they might do the same thing to you as they did to me.

Amos says:

Face Value

Personally, I’m sick of the secondary ticket market. It pisses me off that all the face value tickets on ticketmaster are sold instantly then reappear on the secondary market with massive markup.

How can you complain about a $3 charge for printing a ticket at home when these other sites are charging $20 for shipping (“shipping”=a stamp and envelope) and a 300% markup on face value??

Here’s an example from my inbox, when I promised a friend I’d get them a ticket to Panic At The Disco in Denver. The tickets were $20 + fees on ticketmaster, but sold out in a few hours to people who put them on the secondary market…which turns into this:

Tickets: $59.00

Delivery: $14.95

Misc Expense: $5.90


Total: $79.85

$80 for a $20 ticket.

That’s just bullshit. There NEEDS to be some sort of regulation on the secondary market because right now it’s mostly rich coalitions buying up all the tickets and making regular joes pay a huge markup.

Isn’t techdirt all about making sure the regular joes don’t get screwed over??

Dr Obvious (user link) says:

Re: Face Value

Amos, welcome to the free market. You can wail and moan as much as you want, but it was your choice to spend the money for the ticket. If you don’t think they are worth it, dont’ buy em. If you are right, the price will come down, and you can get your price for them. If you are wrong, there’ll be someone else happy pay the market value for them.

Wizard Prang (user link) says:

Re: Supply and demand, my friend...

…supply and demand.

As long as there are suckers who will pay $200 to see a bunch of college kids play basketball, there will be people who take advantage of the market.

TicketBastards have been doing it for years… now thhey want to be the only one.

Personally I would love to see a “face value” law, but as has been pointed out above, it simply would not work.

So we’re back to… supply and demand, my friend…

charlie potatoes (profile) says:

Who's fault ?

Perhaps this is a modest proposal….but when john fogarty came to town and tickets were 3 bills i sat home.

if all you music lovers would stay home for six months what do think would happen?

just fucking refuse to be screwed. just say no.. give it six months. let them play to totally empty houses.

you are idiots with more money than you know what to do with. stop whining and bocott them. can’t give it up for six months? This isn’t groceries or even beer we’re talking about. jesus– they fuck you because you allow it.

Anonymous Coward says:

I haven’t bought tickets through TM for years. I go to the box office 20 minutes before the tickets go on sale, wait behind 10 people, and get 3rd row seats for the price of the ticket. Everyone wants convienence of Ticket Master, but I am much happier going to my venue and getting to choose where I sit for how much, bottom line.

John (profile) says:

When is free not free?

Back when I lived in Washington, DC, there was a joke about “When is free not free?”:

Tickets for the Holocaust Museum in downtown DC are free. Or you can buy them from Ticketmaster for a small fee (back then, it was $2.50, though it may be more now).

Now, granted, if you buy through Ticketmaster, you don’t have to wait in line at the musuem to get your ticket, but there’s something wrong about charging a service fee for a free ticket.

todd says:

its the fees, not the price

It doesn’t sounds like anyone is complaining about the actual cost of going to see a concert, but rather that ticketmaster add on various fees to the ticket price, and I agree. And I also think it is rediculous to charge a couple bucks so I can print the tickets out at home. However, the only price that really matters is the total price you pay and supply and demand will dictate what the price is. We live in a free market economy (with regulations) but we shouldn’t be complaining when the market is directly dictating the price of goods/services.

I remember a few years back when every new baseball star that became a free agent signed a new recordsetting contract. Guess what happened? Ticket prices when up and attendence went down. The rapid growth of player salaries has flatlined because we the consumers didn’t want to pay anymore.

Bottom line, if you think the ticket price is too high, don’t go.

Rick says:

HEY Some IT Bastard comment #28

It was about 12 years ago that Pearl Jam took on Ticketmaster. Pearl Jam was pretty much ON THEIR OWN. No other big bands at that time would help AT ALL. They didn’t use ticketmaster for over a year I think and they couldn’t hardly tour properly so their fans ended up paying the price. So they tried but got no help from their peers.

Jtrain (user link) says:

TM Print at Home tickets

What pisses me off about the print at home tickets is that it will cost you 5 bucks to print out a pair of tickets and when you print them theres a huge color advertisement for somebody else like Dick’s Sporting Goods or something. So now you have to pay $5 to print advertising that somebody paid Ticketmaster to put on there. Ridiculous.

SM-G says:

Free market vs. monopoly

To the people that are claiming that this is just the way the free market system works, heads up: it’s not. First of all, the US isn’t a free-market economy. The gov’t can and does limit market forces. Remember AT&T, or Standard Oil? If the system was functioning properly, the way it’s *supposed* to work, there would be multiple ticket vendors selling similar or identical items/services, with competition between forcing them to be more efficient in their production/delivery, resulting in cost savings for the end consumer. Ticketmaster is, for all intents and purposes, a monopoly; thus they have no incentive to deliver a better product, reduce prices to compete more efficiently, or to offer better service. Sure, you could go to the venue box office to buy the tickets in person… Except that they don’t usually have said tickets for sale until *after* Ticketmaster does. And I’ve seen more than a few venues where, even at their box office, you are *still* using Ticketmaster, and paying all the surcharges.

All in all it makes me glad that most of the shows I go to see are small enough, and in GA venues, that I don’t have to deal with this kind of shit.

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