Angelenos, it’s time for you (yes, YOU) to get politically active. There is a conspiracy afoot that will effect nearly every person reading this, and it is up to you to stop it.
Have you ever purchased a ticket for a concert or other entertainment event through Ticketbastardmaster or Live Nation? If you have and you’re anything like me, that purchase was probably immediately followed by long and loud complaints of excessive costs for said tickets, paired with “convenience fees” (convenient for who, exactly?) that are commonly 30-50% of the face value of the ticket. As bad as this situation is, it could potentially get a lot worse.
In February, Ticketmaster Entertainment and Live Nation announced plans to merge. This would make one company out of the industry’s number one ticket seller (Ticketmaster) and the second largest ticket seller (Live Nation.) These two (as of now) companies are also the industry’s largest provider of talent management services and the largest promoter of live entertainment events. See where this is going? Yahtzee! I mean, monopoly.
Follow me past the jump to find out how you can stop this monster.
Political Action Committees (PACs) are usually just euphemisms for “lobbyists for special interests throwing lots of money at politicians.” While I am asking you to join a cause, I don’t want your money. I want your political action.
This unholy merger is currently being considered by the Department of Justice. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ, 8th dist.) is circulating a letter amongst his colleagues in the House, asking them to join him in urging the DoJ not to approve the merger. I am asking you to contact (see upper left corner) your Representative and tell him/her how important it is to you that they add their signature to the letter.
I called my Congresswoman’s office this morning and sent an email. A copy of that email is below, so you can fill in your details and send it along to your Congresscritter, too. It should all take less than five minutes.
Are you okay with ticket prices and service charges as they are? Are you one of the few who don’t think prices have reached exorbitant levels? Don’t act; don’t ask your Rep. to join this fight. See what happens to those entirely reasonable prices and fees then.
Los Angeles is home not only to millions of fans, but this is also where many artists and promoters call home, too. L.A. is arguably the center of the music universe, and this merger is bad for nearly everyone here.
What are you prepared to do?
(h/t to KEIOnline.org)
Copy, paste, fill in your details:
Dear Congress(man/woman) (name, find yours here,)
I am writing to ask you to add your signature to a letter to the Department of Justice that is being circulated by Rep. Bill Pascrell. This letter opposes the merger of Ticketmaster/Live Nation.
The proposed merger violates U.S. anti-trust principles, and would give the combined company monopoly control over nearly every aspect of the music business: artist management, record sales, promotion, licensing, venue control, parking, ticket sales and resales, all the way down to the hot dogs and beer. According to James Hurwitz of the American Antitrust Institute:
“If the combination is permitted, the merged company will have a powerful or dominant position in virtually all of the industry’s markets. Viewed in combination, the merger will give Live Nation Entertainment unarguable control of most competition within the industry.”
I have grave concerns that this merger will have far reaching negative consequences for artists, fans, promoters, and the music industry as a whole. This merger violates both horizontal and vertical anti-trust principles, and will undoubtedly lead to higher ticket prices for the average fan.
In the last several years we have already seen average ticket prices in Los Angeles skyrocket, not to mention the associated “convenience fees” which are often an additional 30-50% of the face value of the ticket. Monopoly control of the industry for Ticketmaster/Live Nation would only exacerbate this problem.
As I’m sure you know, the (your district here) District is home to many who are directly involved in the entertainment industry, as well as countless fans. This merger would have direct negative consequences for virtually every member of your constituency.
I urge you to add your signature to Rep. Pascrell’s letter to the DoJ, as well as doing everything you can to assist him in making certain this merger is stopped.
Thank you for your time and attention.
(Your name here)