AAI will host an in-person roundtable in early Fall 2022 to unpack ongoing, systemic competition problems in event ticketing. Despite decades of fines, consent decrees, and attention from policymakers, competition issues continue to vex U.S. ticketing markets. Ticketmaster’s deeply entrenched monopoly in the primary ticketing market persists, despite a consent decree in place since the 2010 merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation. In the interim, Ticketmaster has extended its presence to the secondary ticketing market. Led by AAI’s February 2020 letter to the U.S. Department of Justice on its decision to extend the consent decree, calls for enforcers to revisit that 2010 merger are growing louder. Legislative proposals to improve transparency in primary and secondary ticketing have also gained ground. These developments prompt the important question: What would it take to restore effective competition in ticketing?
The roundtable will feature a keynote address and an expert panel discussion to examine a number of key questions. Can anything short of structural relief revive competition in ticketing? What market conditions and practices have facilitated Ticketmaster’s such complete dominance? What would it mean to break up a merger a dozen years post-consummation and should that be done through Section 2 or Section 7? How do characteristics of the ticketing market, including developments in digital ticketing technology invite monopolization? If so, how can these market characteristics be mitigated, or managed? Can technology be deployed to break through barriers to entry and improve the experience of artists and consumers? The roundtable will focus on developing concrete and practical proposals to restore and reinvigorate competition in event ticketing.