Why is Ticketmaster Not Considered a Monopoly?
Ticketmaster is known as one of the largest ticket selling platforms on the planet, providing access to millions of events happening around the world, including concerts, sports events, and theater shows. The company is often criticized for its complex fees system and ticket prices, however, there’s another aspect that raises questions about its leadership in the market. Is Ticketmaster a monopoly?
What is a Monopoly?
Before we dive into the reasons why Ticketmaster is not considered a monopoly, let’s first understand the meaning of this term. A monopoly is a situation where a single entity has complete control or dominance over a particular market or industry. In such a case, a company can easily manipulate and dictate market trends, resulting in the exploitation of consumers and other businesses in the same sphere. The situation often leads to a lack of innovation, less competition, and higher prices.
Ticketmaster’s Market Share
Ticketmaster, which initially started as a ticket sales company in the late 1970s, has grown to become one of the most recognizable names in the events and ticketing industry. Since the acquisition of Live Nation in 2010, the company has expanded its influence across various areas, such as venue management, artist management, and promotion, to become a more diversified organization with a broader reach.
Despite the popularity of the brand, it’s worth noting that Ticketmaster’s market share is not enough to classify it as a monopoly. In 2019, the company controlled approximately 68.1% of the primary ticketing market in North America. However, the statistics also show that the company faces stiff competition from other players in the industry, such as AXS, Eventbrite, and StubHub, which combined register nearly 30% of market share in the secondary ticketing sector.
The Role of Regulations
Regulations act as watchdogs that ensure businesses play by the rules and avoid malpractices that harm consumers. In the United States, for instance, the government’s antitrust and competition policies prohibit companies from engaging in practices that create unfair competition or concentration of market share. Such practices may include mergers and acquisitions, particularly when it leads to a less competitive market.
Ticketmaster has not been accused of violating antitrust policies in the United States, not to mention other nations. Although the firm’s acquisition of Live Nation raised concerns among some stakeholders, the deal was allowed with certain conditions, such as shedding some assets and not retaliating against other ticket-selling companies.
The Emergence of New Technologies
With the advancement in technology and digitalization, a new crop of companies is emerging to challenge the traditional players in the events and ticketing industry. The emergence of new technologies is disrupting the traditional ticketing business model, making it easier for new entrants to come in and create competition.
Digital ticketing, for instance, eliminates the need for paper tickets and makes the purchase of tickets more convenient for consumers. The emergence of online marketplaces such as StubHub and VividSeats allows consumers to compare prices easily and get better deals. Also, new technologies such as blockchain and smart contracts are promising to revolutionize the way tickets are sold and managed.
In conclusion, Ticketmaster is not a monopoly, despite its high market share in the primary ticketing sector. Regulations exist to prevent the company from engaging in anticompetitive practices, and emerging technologies are disrupting the market, making it easier for new entrants to enter and create competition. It’s worth acknowledging that the company has faced criticism and lawsuits from consumers, artists, and other industry players, but it’s yet to be found guilty of any antitrust violations.
As a consumer, it’s essential to do thorough research when buying tickets, compare prices, and choose a reputable ticketing company like Ticketmaster, that adheres to the rules and regulations governing the industry.