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AEG To Enter Online Ticketing Market

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — AEG has pacted with Cirque du Soleil and Jean-Francoys Brousseau owned Outbox Technology and Fred Rosen to throw their hats into ring for the online sports and entertainment ticketing business.

The Venture, Outbox Enterprises, LLC will be jointly run by Outbox Technology CEO, Jean-Francoys Brousseau and former Ticketmaster builder and CEO, Fredric D. Rosen serving as co-CEO's. The new venture will allow venues to sell tickets to consumers directly from their own websites, thus eliminating any need for a "middle man" (read Ticketmaster) when purchasing tickets. Outbox Enterprises is scheduled to roll-out to all AEG properties around the world (with the exception of Germany) over the next 24 months.

"Our team has been researching all the available ticketing technologies and analyzing what would be the best long-term solution for our business," said Tim Leiweke, CEO of AEG Entertainment. "We are confident that Outbox Enterprises is the right technology to fit into our broader digital strategy – one which is focused on creating the best consumer experience around our brand and our content."

Outbox Enterprises aims to allow all live entertainment venues to control their own inventory, pricing, as well as keep and control all their consumer data and profiles without any third party involvement. The model was originally implemented by Outbox Technology, who has been successful employing their technology with Cirque du Soleil and event venues such as the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada, Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles.

While there are numerous online ticketing enterprises, Outbox will have a solid leg up with the financial and reach of AEG, who operates more than 100 venues around the world. Fred Rosen is an experienced hand at developing online ticketing platforms and oversaw the creation of Ticketmaster's own system.

The partnership also herald's AEG's first step into the online ticketing world. As a result of last year's merger, AEG successfully negotiated a series of concessions designed to foster the emergence of a true ticketing competitor. Bringing together industry leaders AEG and Cirque du Soleil Holdings as principal owners along with Jean-Francoys Brousseau and Fred Rosen as Co-CEOs and partners in this new venture marks a significant step in realizing that goal.

The announcement is a double blow to Ticketmaster. Not only do they have a new, well heeled rival in the offing, it also means that Ticketmaster will be losing one of their largest clients. According to the Wall Street Journal, AEG was responsible for about 10% of Ticketmaster's sales last year, generating an estimated $55 million in service fees.

"Not only does this computerized ticketing solution empower venues and help them take control of their ticketing decisions, it makes their own web sites and marketing capabilities much more valuable and relevant because that is where the transactions reside," said Fredric D. Rosen, Co-CEO and President of Outbox Enterprises. "Simply put, there is no longer a need for a middle man in this business." – Ian Courtney