They will own more than 140 encore venues globally (including most amphitheaters), sell around 140 million tickets a year and promote 22, 000 concerts annually (Folksy & Degrade). Taskmaster’s chief executive, Irving Geoff, and Live Nation’s CEO, Michael Rapine, spent much of 2009 arguing the merged company would have the clout and flexibility to fix the broken concert business (Nipper). The music Industry was struggling In recent years, with live events being Its only relatively healthy segment.
With the merger, Live Nation Entertainment felt that they would have the power and flexibility o cut costs, make more money from the lucrative resale market and ultimately reduce ticket prices and service fees (Nipper). “The deal would help to revive the music industry by creating a more efficient process to deliver music to fans” (Semicircles, et al). But many consumer groups, smaller competitors and even some artists worried about Taskmaster’s growing power and potential to ratchet up prices (Semicircles et al) dictate the terms of major events (Folksy & Degrade) and control too much of the concert experience (Mishmash).
Conditions of the Merger In order for the deal to proceed, the two companies had to agree to some major concessions meant to lower ticket prices for consumers (Mishmash) and address concerns that Taskmaster and Live Nation would have a stranglehold on ticket sales (Semiweekly et al). First, the companies had to create a pair of rivals to ensure a competitive market for ticket sales (Semicircles et al).
Taskmaster must license its #2 concert promoter (Lieberman) – to get them into the ticket sales business – and en other “suitable” company – so that both companies can compete “head-to-head” Ninth Taskmaster for venues’ business (Van Buskins). After five years, AGE will have the option of buying the software, replacing it with something else, or partnering with another ticketing company (Van Buskins). Second, Taskmaster was required to divest Optional (Lieberman) a subsidiary ticketing company that provided software for ‘menu operators to sell their own tickets (Semicircles et al).
And finally, the merged entity would be under a 10-year court order prohibiting it from retaliating against ensues (or performers (Lieberman)) that chose to sign ticket-selling contracts with competitors (Mishmash). Impact of Merger on Consumers One positive outcome for consumers is if the merger creates strong competition then they should see ticket prices go down. Another positive outcome of the merger is the ability of the consumer to receive more products and services from one business entity rather than obtaining different products from different locations.