"Ticketmaster does not set prices. Live Nation does not set ticket prices. Artists set the prices," said Ticketmaster Chairman Barry Diller, to be chairman of the new company — which would be called Live Nation Entertainment.
Diller did not mention the ticket surcharges Ticketmaster relies on for much of its revenue. Very reassuring.
Ticketmaster has already come under fire for redirecting people buying tickets to a Bruce Springsteen show from its regular Web site to its subsidiary, TicketsNow. That site ripped off customers for hundreds of dollars, even though face-value tickets were still available.
The Boss was not happy. In response, he posted a statement on his Web site saying the merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation could end up "returning us to a near-monopoly situation in music ticketing."
A Toronto man has since filed a $410 million lawsuit that claims he fell victim to the same corporate scalping scheme when he tried to buy tickets to a Smashing Pumpkins concert in 2008, Reuters reported.
Ticketmaster Chairman Barry Diller has blamed the Springsteen incident on a "technical glitch" by a credit card company and apologized to The Boss. He said the latest Canadian lawsuit was "without merit."
But U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell has already said that he wants the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department to investigate the company’s conflict of interests.
Now Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., is the latest politician to throw down a gauntlet. He released a statement Tuesday opposing the merger, calling the Springsteen ticketing debacle a "bait-and-switch" scam.
Live Nation's board of directors includes Ari Emanuel, brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
What does that mean for the merger’s chance of gaining regulatory approval?