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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc.
IndustryLive Entertainment
Founded1976; 43 years ago (1976)
Arizona, U.S.
FoundersAlbert Leffler
Peter Gadwa
Jerry Nelson
Area served
Key people
Michael Rapino (CEO)
Jared Smith (President of Ticketmaster North America)
Mark Yovich (President of Ticketmaster International)
ProductsTicketing technology
Ticket sales
Ticket resales
Distribution of event tickets and information
Support of venue renovation
RevenueSold 142 million+ tickets valued at $8 billion in 2007
Number of employees
ParentLive Nation Entertainment

Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc. is an American ticket sales and distribution company based in Beverly Hills, California with operations in many countries around the world. In 2010 it merged with Live Nation under the name Live Nation Entertainment (NYSELYV).[1]

The company's ticket sales are fulfilled digitally or at its two main fulfillment centers located in Charleston, West Virginia, and Pharr, Texas for both primary and secondary markets. Ticketmaster's clients include venues, artists and promoters. Clients control their events and set ticket prices, and Ticketmaster sells tickets that the clients make available to them.


Ticketmaster was founded in Phoenix, Arizona in 1976 by Peter Gadwa, a computer programmer, Albert Leffler, a box office specialist, as well as Gordon Gunn III, Thomas Hart Jr., Dan Reeter and Jerry Nelson.[2][3] The company originally licensed computer programs and sold hardware for ticketing systems before switching to computerized ticketing in 1982. Its first ticketed concert was Electric Light Orchestra, held at the University of New Mexico.[4][3]

In 1998, USA Networks Inc., later named InterActiveCorp (IAC), purchased a majority stake in Ticketmaster.[5] That same year, the company merged with CitySearch and was renamed Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch.[6] In May 2000, Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch acquired TicketWeb Inc., a ticket vendor that sold tickets online and over the phone.[7] In 2003, IAC repurchased the remaining Ticketmaster stock that it had previously sold off.[8]

In January 2008, Ticketmaster acquired Paciolan Inc., a developer of ticketing system applications and hosted ticketing systems, after litigation over the potential breach of antitrust laws.[9] Also in January, Ticketmaster acquired the UK-based secondary ticket marketplace,[10]

IAC spun off Ticketmaster as its own company in the summer of 2008.[11] Later in 2008, Ticketmaster acquired Front Line Management, an artist management firm that worked with artists such as Aerosmith, Christina Aguilera and Jimmy Buffett.[12] Front Line CEO Irving Azoff became CEO of the new company, which was renamed Ticketmaster Entertainment.[13]

Live Nation merger

In February 2009, Ticketmaster entered into an agreement to merge with event promoter Live Nation to form Live Nation Entertainment.[14] The deal was cleared by the U.S. Justice Department in January 2010 under the condition that the company sell Paciolan to Comcast Spectacor or another firm, and license its software to Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), its biggest competitor.[15] The new company, which would be called Live Nation Entertainment, would also be subject to provisions for 10 years that prevented it from retaliating against venues that partnered with competing ticketing firms.[15]


In 2015, Ticketmaster acquired Front Gate Tickets, a music festival ticketing service that provided services for festivals including Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits.[16] The same year, the company acquired Universe, a DIY ticketing platform.[16] In 2017, TicketWeb, Ticketmaster's self-service ticketing platform, acquired Strobe Labs, a marketing platform that allows users to market to fans through social media.[17]

Service fees

The face value of Ticketmaster tickets is determined by the artist or client.[18] In addition to the face value price, venues and Ticketmaster add fees to pay for their services.[19]

Typically, fees added to a ticket’s face value have included:[20][21]

  • Service charge – Ticketmaster’s charge for its service.
  • Facility charge – Charge added by the venue.
  • Shipping, convenience and processing charges – Charges added dependent on the ticket delivery method and credit card processing fees.

Fee amounts vary between events and are dependent on the venue, available delivery methods, and preferences of the artist.[18] Some economists and activist groups have claimed that high ticket prices are due to a lack of competition within the music industry.[19][22]

A class action lawsuit was filed against Ticketmaster in 2003, alleging that it did not fully disclose UPS and order processing fees added to tickets sold online. The case settlement was approved in 2015 and Ticketmaster issued vouchers and discount codes to fans who purchased tickets online between 1999 and 2013.[23] In a related case, Ticketmaster filed suit against its liability insurance carrier, Illinois Union Insurance Company, a subsidiary of ACE Limited (NYSEACE), in 2010 for failing to aid in its defense in the 2003 suit.[24]

Ticket sales market

In 2008, an anonymous source alleged that TicketsNow, an acquired subsidiary of Ticketmaster, assisted with the sale of more than $1 million worth of Radiohead tickets on the TicketsNow website. Due to heavy marketing by the band, Ticketmaster quickly sold out of tickets, but then began referring customers to a "partner site", without disclosing it as a subsidiary, where many tickets were resold at much higher prices.[25]

Ticketmaster is the primary ticket seller for 27 of the 30 NHL teams and 28 of 30 NBA teams, but in 2005, Major League Baseball acquired Ticketmaster rival MLB sells approximately 75,000,000 baseball tickets per year, and might be expected to transfer those sales to when Ticketmaster contracts ended.

Ticketmaster has historically had limited success in the secondary ticketing market. In September 2003, Ticketmaster announced plans to sell tickets in internet auctions, which would bring the price of tickets closer to market prices, but its market share compared to that of eBay or Stubhub remains small, and Internet auctions are still a relatively minor part of its business. Indeed, since around the time of the 2003 announcement, Ticketmaster has lost the lead in the secondary ticketing market to new entrants like Stubhub, who have developed a popular and effective person-to-person market for tickets.

In 2006, Ticketmaster President Sean Moriarty, interviewed on NPR, pleaded for legislation that would make the selling of tickets from person to person illegal except through Ticketmaster's own product for this purpose.[26] Ticketmaster established the Ticketmaster Ticketexchange to compete with Stubhub, their main tagline being that tickets are 100% guaranteed to be authentic, since they are sold through the season ticket holder's account. Some NFL teams, such as the New England Patriots, New York Giants and New York Jets, require people to be on the waiting list in order to use the service.

The resale site also charged up to $1,199 for a $44 face-value ticket to a recent Killers concert in Toronto — roughly a 2,500% markup.[27]

In an article by the CBC, Ticketmaster has been quoted as saying, "You and I both know there is a thriving ticket-broker industry ... so the law is really a fiction ... We very strongly feel the law needs to be modernized to reflect the reality of internet commerce. By keeping a price cap in place, you're really just driving the [resale] business into the shadows."[28]

In late summer 2009, Ticketmaster developed a new way to resell tickets hoping to circumvent brokers and scalpers.[29] This new system relies on a "paperless" ticketing platform, which makes customers prove their purchase by showing a credit card and ID.[29]


Issues and hearings regarding anti-competitive practices

In 1994-1995 LA Times reporter Chuck Philips broke a series of stories [30] that helped trigger a federal anti-trust investigation.[31] In 1994 Ticketmaster's tickets often had surcharges as large as 25% of the base ticket price. Moreover, an unwanted and unnecessary “tying” of services (such as parking and “conveniences”) to the cost of the concert placed an unfair burden on customers and constituted an anti-competitive practice according to a legal analysis [32] of investigative pieces by Philips.[33][34][35][36][37][32][38]

The grunge band Pearl Jam petitioned the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice, complaining that Ticketmaster adopted monopolistic practices and refused to lower service fees for the band's tickets [31] Pearl Jam wanted to keep ticket prices under $20.00, with service charges no greater than $1.80. Fred Rosen of Ticketmaster refused and because Ticketmaster had exclusive contracts with many of the large venues in the United States they threatened to take legal action if those contracts were broken. Pearl Jam was forced to create from scratch its own outdoor stadiums in rural areas to perform. Pearl Jam's efforts to organize a tour without the ticket giant collapsed which Pearl Jam said was further evidence of Ticketmaster's monopoly. An analysis of Philips' investigative series [34][35][36][37][38][39] in well known legal monograph [32] concluded that it was hard to imagine a legitimate reason for their exclusive contracts with venues and contracts which covered such a lengthy period of time. The authors said, “The pervasiveness of Ticketmaster's exclusive agreements, coupled with their excessive duration and the manner in which they are procured, supported a finding that Ticketmaster had engaged in anticompetitive conduct under section 2 of the Sherman Act.” Members of Pearl Jam testified on Capitol Hill on June 30 of 1994. Pearl Jam alleged that Ticketmaster used anti-competitive and monopolistic practices to gouge fans. Congressman Dingell (D-Mich.) after Pearl Jam's testimony before congress wrote a bill requiring full disclosure to prevent Ticketmaster from burying escalating service fees. Pearl Jam's manager said he was gratified that Congress saw the problem as a national issue.[40]

Later in the year the Justice Department opened an investigation into anti-competitive practices in the ticket industry. It continued for close to a year until July 6 of 1995 when the Justice Department abruptly closed its antitrust probe in a two-sentence press release.[41] Chuck Philips was told by sources close to the case that the investigation was closed due to a combination of shortage of resources and the case being difficult and having uncertain prospects.[41] A spokesman for Pearl Jam told the LA Times Chuck Philips, “Unfortunately, those who will be most hurt by the Justice Department’s cave-in are the consumers of live entertainment…The consumers are the ones who ultimately pay for the lack of choice in the marketplace.”

2018 Department of Justice Investigation into Antitrust Violations

In 2018, the United States Department of Justice launched an investigation following complaints that Live Nation had engaged in anti-competitive practices following their merger with Ticketmaster. AEG has alleged that Live Nation had pressured them into using Ticketmaster as a vendor. If AEG had refused, they would have lost out on business. The allegations of antitrust violations have resulted in a re-examination of the merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation. Much of the initial criticisms of the merger has been re-affirmed.[42][43]

Scalper Scandal

In September 2018, the Toronto Star went undercover [44] at a ticketing conference and exposed Ticketmaster's "secret scalping program".[45] This led to a class action lawsuit on the grounds of "unlawful and unfair business practices."[46]

Ticketmaster president Jared Smith responded by saying Ticketmaster "never allows ticket scalpers to buy tickets ahead of fans."[47]

Prominent lawsuits

On April 28, 1997, Ticketmaster sued Microsoft over its Sidewalk service for allegedly deep linking into Ticketmaster's site. The suit was settled after a two-year legal battle in which Ticketmaster claimed that linking to specific pages on an Internet site without permission was an unfair practice.

In 2003, the jam band The String Cheese Incident and its associated booking group, SCI Ticketing, sued Ticketmaster arguing that Ticketmaster's exclusive use contracts at most US venues was a breach of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. This lawsuit was settled in 2004 with no publicity of the settlement terms.[48]

In 2009, Ticketmaster faced several lawsuits across North America, claiming they conspired to divert tickets to popular events to its ticket brokering website TicketsNow, in which the same tickets were sold at premium prices.[49] This also raised the ire of musician Bruce Springsteen, who said he was 'furious' at Ticketmaster,[50] and "...the one thing that would make the current ticket situation even worse for the fan than it is now would be Ticketmaster and Live Nation coming up with a single system, thereby returning us to a near monopoly situation in music ticketing".[51][52]

In 2003, a class action lawsuit was filed in Schlesinger v. Ticketmaster. The claim was that Ticketmaster did not fully disclose the UPS and Order Processing Fees. Ticketmaster settled the case in 2013, with the court granting final approval of the settlement in February 2015. Settlement consisted of a $2.25 voucher on the future purchase of tickets, for each transaction from 1999-2013, up to a maximum of 17 vouchers.[53][54][55][56]

Ticketmaster Data Breach

On June 27, 2018 it was reported that up to 40,000 British customers may have had their credit card data stolen in a security breach of Ticketmaster systems.[57][58][59][60][61][62][63]

Ticketmaster eventually confirmed hacking of their systems affected UK transactions between February 2018 and 23 June 2018, and 'International Customers' who purchased/attempted to purchase tickets between September 2017 and 23 June 2018[64] via a web skimming attack.[65]

See also


  1. ^ Pelofsky, Jeremy; Adegoke, Yinka (25 January 2010). "Live Nation, Ticketmaster merge; agree to U.S. terms". Reuters.
  2. ^ Lewis, Christina S. N. (2007-11-23). "Ticket Master's Place". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  3. ^ a b "Rival to Ticketron : Ticketmaster Emerging as Force in L.A." Los Angeles Times. 1985-01-31. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  4. ^ Tribune, Chicago. "Ticketmaster". Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  5. ^ Reuters; Reuters (1998-03-24). "USA picks up Ticketmaster". Variety. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  6. ^ Bicknell, Craig (1998-08-13). "CitySearch Joins Ticketmaster". Wired. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  7. ^ Journal, Bruce OrwallStaff Reporter of The Wall Street. "Ticketmaster Buys TicketWeb In Bid to Diversify Offerings". WSJ. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  8. ^ Hansell, Saul (2003-05-06). "TECHNOLOGY; USA Interactive Is Acquiring LendingTree in Stock Deal". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  9. ^ Yahoo! Business Form 10-Q for Ticketmaster Archived December 19, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ White, Dominic (29 January 2008). "Ticketmaster moves into UK concert resales".
  11. ^ "IAC to spin off ticket seller". 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  12. ^ Buskirk (2008-10-23). "Ticketmaster Acquires Majority of Front Line Management". Wired. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  13. ^ "Ticketmaster takes stake in Front Line". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  14. ^ Live Nation and Ticketmaster Agree to Merge New York Times. 10 February 2009.
  15. ^ a b Sisario (2010-01-25). "Justice Dept. Clears Ticketmaster-Live Nation Merger". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  16. ^ a b "Ticketmaster Acquires Festival Ticketer Front Gate". Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  17. ^ Ellisngson, Annlee. "Ticketmaster buys marketing platform to help clubs engage with fans".
  18. ^ a b Roberts, Randall (2009-03-04). "Ticketmaster and Servants: Bands Get Cut of Service Fee". Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  19. ^ a b Conaway, Laura (2009-09-02). "The Economics Of Ticketmaster : Planet Money". NPR. Retrieved 2013-10-10.
  20. ^ "Ticketmaster's new blog: 'We get it -- you don't like service fees'". 2010-08-23. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  21. ^ Sisario (2012-05-15). "String Cheese Incident Takes On Ticketmaster". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  22. ^ Randall. "Angry About Tickets? Here's Who To Blame".
  23. ^ Karp, Hannah (2014-06-03). "Ticketmaster Agrees to Tentative Settlement".
  24. ^ "Ticketmaster LLC Locks Horns with ACE Group Company Over Errors and Omissions Coverage". 13 January 2011.
  25. ^ "Ticketmaster scalps Radiohead tickets". Retrieved 2013-10-10.
  26. ^ NPR National Public Radio
  27. ^ CBC News CBC News. 02 January 2009.
  28. ^ CBC News Archived March 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ a b "Ticketmaster tries to cut out scalpers again – Business – Retail –". MSNBC. 2009-09-17. Retrieved 2013-10-10.
  30. ^ Budnick; Baron, Dean; Josh (June 1, 2011). Ticket Masters: The Rise of the Concert Industry and How the Public Got Scalped. Toronto; Ontario; Canada: ECW Press. p.,353,354,355,356. ISBN 978-1-55022-949-3.
  31. ^ a b Philips, Chuck (June 8, 1994). "Pearl Jam vs. Ticketmaster: Choosing Sides : Legal file: The pop music world is divided over the Seattle band's allegations, which led to a Justice Department investigation into possible anti-competitive practices in the ticket distribution industry". LA Times. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  32. ^ Philips, Chuck (May 17, 1991). "Ticket Flap: What Price Convenience?: Entertainment: A host of service fees, surcharges and taxes is riling concert-goers--and lawmakers". LA Times. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  33. ^ a b Philips, chuck (February 7, 1995). "Congress May Get Tickets Measure : Pop music: Spurred by Pearl Jam's crusade, the bill would require ticket vendors to disclose fees". LA Times. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  34. ^ a b Philips, Chuck (June 30, 1994). "Pearl Jam, Ticketmaster and Now Congress: America's biggest band sent shock waves through the music business when it filed a complaint with the Justice Department about Ticketmaster. Now, Congress is holding a hearing. How'd it all get so far?". LA Times. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  35. ^ a b Philips, Chuck (June 8, 1994). "Pearl Jam vs. Ticketmaster: Choosing Sides : Legal file: The pop music world is divided over the Seattle band's allegations, which led to a Justice Department investigation into possible anti-competitive practices in the ticket distribution industry". LA Times. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  36. ^ a b Philips, Chuck (June 17, 1995). "COLUMN ONE : The Ticket King's Path to Power : As Pearl Jam just learned, Ticketmaster's Fred Rosen gets what he wants. His tactics have earned him some foes, but even critics admit he has transformed the industry. Now he's eyeing new realms". LA Times. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  37. ^ a b Philips, Chuck (9 June 1992). "A Tangle Over Tickets : Ticketmaster, Target of Lawsuits, Says It Offers Broad Service". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  38. ^ Philips, Chuck (May 17, 1991). "Ticket Flap: What Price Convenience? : Entertainment: A host of service fees, surcharges and taxes is riling concert-goers--and lawmakers". LA Times. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  39. ^ Philips, Chuck (August 12, 1994). "Company Town: Bill Would Require Ticket Fee Disclosures : Legislation: Rep. Dingell takes aim at concerns over prices customers pay to get into concerts and sporting events". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  40. ^ a b Philips, Chuck (July 6, 1995). "Pearl Jam "U.S. Drops Ticketmaster Antitrust Probe : Entertainment: Abrupt closure of investigation lifts cloud of uncertainty over firm, catches others in industry off guard". Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  41. ^ Live Nation Rules Music Ticketing, Some Say With Threats
  42. ^
  43. ^ "We went undercover as ticket scalpers — and Ticketmaster offered to help us do business". Toronto Star. 2018-09-19. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
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  45. ^ "Ticketmaster Faces Class-Action Lawsuit After Scalping Report". Rolling Stone. 2018-10-01. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  46. ^ "Ticketmaster Responds to Senate Letter Investigating Resale Controversy: Exclusive". Billboard. 2018-10-05. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  47. ^ "News". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-10-10.
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  50. ^ "Bruce Springsteen "Furious" At Ticketmaster, Rails Against Live Nation Merger". Rolling Stone. February 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
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External links

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