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Is Ticketmaster a Monopoly? A Close Look at the Evidence

Ticketmaster is known as one of the biggest online ticketing companies in the world. With a huge market share in the industry, many people have asked the question, “Is Ticketmaster a monopoly?” The debate has been raging for years, with supporters of both sides providing strong evidence. In this article, we will take a closer look at the evidence and determine whether Ticketmaster can be considered a monopoly or not.

What is a Monopoly?

Before we dive into the evidence, let’s first discuss what a monopoly is. According to Investopedia, a monopoly is a situation in which a single company or group owns all or nearly all of the market for a given type of product or service. In other words, it is a situation where there is no competition or viable alternative to the company in question. This status gives the company in question nearly complete control over pricing and supply, often leading to higher prices and lower quality service or products.

Ticketmaster: History and Background

Ticketmaster was founded in 1976 in Phoenix, Arizona. The company started as a small ticket exchange but quickly grew, thanks to its partnership with venues and artists. Today, Ticketmaster is a subsidiary of Live Nation Entertainment, a company that also owns other entities in the music industry.Ticketmaster provides ticketing services for a range of events, including concerts, sporting events, theater shows, and more. It sells tickets online, over the phone, and through retail outlets across the United States and other countries. The company is known for its extensive distribution network and its position as a major player in the live entertainment industry.

The Argument for Ticketmaster Being a Monopoly

Those who argue that Ticketmaster is a monopoly point to several factors to support their claim. These factors include:

Market Share

One of the key arguments for Ticketmaster being a monopoly is the company’s market share. According to a 2019 report by the Department of Justice, Ticketmaster’s share of the primary ticketing market was over 80 percent. This means that the company has a significant control over the market, and there is little competition to challenge its position.

Exclusive Contracts

Ticketmaster has exclusive agreements with many venues and artists, which further solidifies its position in the market. For example, Ticketmaster was the exclusive ticketing provider for Live Nation concerts until 2009 when the two companies merged. The company also has agreements with many other venues, which make it difficult for other ticketing companies to compete.

Pricing Power

With over 80 percent of the market share, Ticketmaster has pricing power that allows it to set prices and fees as it sees fit. Critics argue that the company’s fees are often high, and customers have little choice but to pay them if they want to attend an event.

The Argument Against Ticketmaster Being a Monopoly

Despite the arguments for Ticketmaster being a monopoly, some people disagree. They point to the following factors to support their claim:

Competition from Other Companies

While Ticketmaster’s market share is significant, there are other companies in the industry that provide similar services. These companies may not have the same market saturation as Ticketmaster, but they do provide viable alternatives for customers who are looking for different fee structures or better service.

Regulations and Oversight

The ticketing industry is subject to various regulations and oversight, which helps to prevent monopolistic practices. For example, the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Clayton Antitrust Act are federal laws that protect consumers against monopolies and promote competition in the marketplace. The Ticket Sales Act of 2016, passed by the US Congress, also seeks to increase transparency and fairness in the ticketing industry, which helps to level the playing field for all companies.

Consumer Choice

Ultimately, consumers have some level of choice when it comes to purchasing tickets. While Ticketmaster may have a significant market share, customers have the ability to choose whether or not to purchase from the company. There are other options available for purchasing tickets, such as directly from the venue or through other online ticket sellers.

Conclusion: Is Ticketmaster a Monopoly?

So, what’s the verdict? Is Ticketmaster a monopoly? While the evidence is compelling on both sides, it seems that there is no clear-cut answer. Ticketmaster’s market share and exclusive contracts do suggest that the company has significant control over the industry, but other factors such as regulatory oversight and consumer choice also come into play.Ultimately, the answer to this question depends on how you define a monopoly. If you believe that a company has to completely control a market to be considered a monopoly, then Ticketmaster may not fit the bill. However, if you believe that a company only needs to have significant control over a market, then Ticketmaster may indeed be a monopoly.Regardless, it’s clear that the ticketing industry is ripe for disruption and competition, and consumers would benefit from having more choices when it comes to purchasing tickets. Whether or not Ticketmaster is a monopoly, it’s important for customers to be aware of their options and to make informed choices when it comes to purchasing tickets for their favorite events.