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Why Ticketmaster is a Monopoly on Reddit

One of the most popular topics among music lovers in recent years has been the nature of Ticketmaster’s hold over the world of live events. As the leading provider of event tickets in the United States, Ticketmaster has long faced allegations of monopolistic behavior. With their widespread reach and immense power, many concertgoers feel that they have little choice but to bow to Ticketmaster’s pricing system and fees. This article will delve deeper into the reasons behind Ticketmaster’s monopoly, analyzing everything from their business practices to their relationships with competitors.

The Origins of Ticketmaster

To understand why Ticketmaster is a monopoly, it’s important to know a bit about their history. Ticketmaster was founded in 1976 with the goal of providing ticketing services for events, but it was not until the 1990s that they began to face allegations of market dominance. During this period, Ticketmaster engaged in numerous mergers and acquisitions that allowed them to establish near-total control over the concert ticketing industry. Among these acquisitions were Front Line Management and Live Nation, both of which gave Ticketmaster control over large numbers of musical acts and venues.

Ticketmaster’s Business Practices

One of the reasons Ticketmaster is considered a monopoly is due to the company’s business practices. Many concert promoters and artists have accused the ticketing giant of engaging in anti-competitive behavior that harms smaller businesses, such as charging exorbitant fees and setting minimum price floors. In many cases, Ticketmaster has threatened to withhold tickets from venues unless they agree to Ticketmaster’s terms, a practice that has drawn harsh criticism.

Another issue related to Ticketmaster’s business practices is their use of exclusive contracts. Many venues and promoters are required to enter contracts with Ticketmaster, which can prevent them from working with any other ticketing service. These contracts allow Ticketmaster to essentially lock out competitors from the markets they control, further cementing their monopoly status.

Ticketmaster’s Relationship with Competitors

In addition to their business practices, Ticketmaster has also faced allegations of anti-competitive behavior when it comes to their relationships with competitors. One example of this is their relationship with secondary ticketing sites such as StubHub. In 2018, Ticketmaster was found to have been using its market dominance to pressure StubHub into shutting down their secondary ticketing platform. According to reports, Ticketmaster threatened to withhold tickets from artists who worked with StubHub, effectively forcing their hand.

Another issue is Ticketmaster’s close ties with the venues themselves. Many venues have exclusive contracts with Ticketmaster, which means that anyone looking to purchase tickets must do so through Ticketmaster. This puts other ticketing services at a significant disadvantage, as they are unable to compete for the same customers.

Ticketmaster’s Response to Criticism

Despite the numerous allegations of monopolistic behavior, Ticketmaster has maintained that they are simply providing a valuable service to the public. They argue that their dominance in the market is simply a result of their superior technology and infrastructure, which allows them to provide a more convenient and efficient service than their competitors.

Ticketmaster has also argued that they are not actually a monopoly, as they only control a fraction of the overall ticketing market. While this may be technically true, it ignores the fact that Ticketmaster holds a near-total control over the concert ticketing industry, which has allowed them to engage in anti-competitive practices with little fear of reprisal.


The question of whether or not Ticketmaster is a monopoly is a complex one, with proponents on both sides of the argument. While Ticketmaster has certainly engaged in a number of questionable business practices, they have also been responsible for ushering in a new era of ticketing technology that has made it easier than ever before for music fans to attend live events.

Despite this, it’s clear that the control that Ticketmaster holds over the concert ticketing industry is nearly unparalleled, and has allowed them to engage in anti-competitive practices that have hurt competitors and consumers alike. Ultimately, the debate over Ticketmaster’s monopoly status will likely rage on, with no clear end in sight.