NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Ticketing behemoth Ticketmaster has announced that it is planning to acquire TicketsNow in an effort to bolster its share of the booming secondary ticket market.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the deal is expected to be closed by the end of the the first quarter for a cool $265 million.
Ticketmaster, a unit of Barry Diller's Internet conglomerate IAC/InterActiveCorp is a dominant player in the primary ticket market but the recent split with their largest client Live Nation and the fact that they derive little revenue from the increasingly lucrative secondary ticket market made a move like seem inevitable. While no clear estimate of the size of the secondary market is available, most estimates put the numbers at $2.5 to 5 billion.
Ticketmaster's president has pledged that a part of the revenue derived from this move into the secondary market will go to promoters and ostensibly to artists.
"Clients who five years ago were not willing to allow a ticket to be resold now want a piece of it," Ticketmaster President Sean Moriarty told the Wall Street Journal. Unsurprisingly, at least some of the promoters are enthusiastic supporters of this plan. AEG's Tim Leiweke told the WSJ that he welcome the deal, noting that "We get to go back to the artist and say, 'Now, we can capture that revenue for you, instead of StubHub, that's a big deal for us."
This deal raises some significant questions for Ticketmaster. In the past, the firm claims that they have attempted to prevent secondary ticket brokers from using automated systems from purchasing event tickets in bulk for resale with technical safeguards and litigation, but it is unclear how they will approach this issue moving forward. Ticketmaster will find itself in the enviable position of selling tickets, with already high service and "handling" charges to secondary market brokers who will then sell them to actual fans, with Ticketmaster again, taking a generous slice of the pie in fees and leaving them with little incentive to provide fair access to event tickets for consumers. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers