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Taking It To The Seats: Pascrell Leads Coalition Of Congressinonal Members, Consumer Advocates And Leaders Of The Live Entertainment Industry In Launching Ticketdisaster.Com And Ticketdisaster.Org Against The Pending Merger Of Ticketmaster And Live Nation

Washington, DC, December 16, 2009

Continuing the fight against the pending Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) today led a coalition of Congress members, consumer groups, and leaders of the live entertainment industry in launching Ticketdisaster.com and Ticketdisaster.org  – two websites aimed at informing the public of the effects of pending merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation.

“All of us agree that it was time to take this fight to the seats. That’s where the fans are, and they are the people who have had virtually no opportunity to represent their interests in the pending merger of these two companies  – until now,” said Pascrell, who testified against the merger before the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee.  “These websites will give the fan, the ticket buyers, the information they need to understand how they will be affected by the proposed merger as well as give them the chance to voice their opposition to the pending deal to the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust authorities.”

In July, Rep. Pascrell submitted a letter bearing the signatures of 50 Congress members urging Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney to reject the companies’ bid to unite.

Standing with the congressman today were Rep. Joseph Courtney (D-CT), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT). The members of the consumer group/entertainment industry coalition present were:

David Balto – Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress and Former FTC Policy Director

Sally Greenberg – Executive Director, National Consumers League

Tom Patania – Immediate Past President, National Association of Ticket Brokers

Bert Foer – President, American Antitrust Institute

Seth Hurwitz – Promoter/Owner of the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.

Ticketmaster is the industry’s #1 ticket seller, the largest provider of talent management services and the second largest reseller of tickets.  Live Nation is the industry’s largest promoter of live entertainment events, the second largest ticket seller and the second largest owner/manager of entertainment venues.

There have been recent indications that Ticketmaster and Live Nation might offer some concessions in order to win approval of the merger from the U.S. Department of Justice.

“It doesn’t take an expert to see that if these two companies are allowed to join forces and become the behemoth they desire, they will have unprecedented control over nearly every aspect of the live entertainment industry,” said Pascrell. “This is little doubt that the result of this merger will be higher ticket prices and fees for fans, and chilling effects on consumers, business managers, artists, music fans, and promoters, in every state throughout this country. The Department of Justice must swiftly and resoundingly reject this hostile takeover of the concert industry.  No concessions from Ticketmaster and Live Nation will cure this merger’s inherent anti-competitive nature.”

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