Just the ticket

October 23, 2008

Will Ticketmaster’s new duet fend off a hot rival and help it rise above an economic climate that makes pricey concert tickets seem like an extravagance?

The ticketing giant has announced a complex deal to acquire top artist-management agency Front Line, home to artists including Christina Aguilera, the Eagles and Neil Diamond. Front Line honcho Irving Azoff will run the combined company — raising questions about how Ms. Aguilera’s manager will negotiate her ticketing fees with himself.

Ticketmaster already owns a minority stake in Front Line, and will pay $123 million to Warner Music Group for an additional 30 percent stake, as the Wall Street Journal was the first to report.

As the music industry has crumbled, the concert business has been one of the sole bright spots in recent years. But with a global recession getting top billing and upstart rival Live Nation scooping up exclusive deals with artists like Madonna, it could be a tough act for Ticketmaster to follow.

Are you less likely to go to concerts now that the economy is looking grim? Leave you answer in the comments section.


** New Zealand’s Port of Tauranga is expecting rival Ports of Auckland to bid for its container business, it said, as a declining shipping business has port operators looking at consolidation.

** The Australian government has approved a takeover of St George Bank , the country’s fifth-biggest lender, by larger rival Westpac Banking Corp , Treasurer Wayne Swan said.

** Norway’s oil group Det norske oljeselskap ASA said it was selling its 10 percent stake in Yme field licences to Polish peer Lotos .

** Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech expects the takeover by Porsche to move ahead smoothly and played down in a newspaper interview any differences in his extended family that owns Porsche.

** The European Commission will approve an Italian investor group’s takeover plan for struggling airline Alitalia but not a 300 million euro ($386 million) state loan, la Repubblica newspaper said.

** Russia’s flag carrier Aeroflot has asked the transport ministry to support its takeover of airline S7, which may bid for Austrian Airlines , Interfax reported, citing Aeroflot.

** Interactive entertainment company Bright Things Plc said it signed a relationship agreement for its social network site SocialGo with widget maker WidgetLaboratory LLC, sending shares up nearly 67 percent.

** Greek lenders Piraeus Bank and Proton Bank said their boards had agreed to cancel a share swap agreement, after Proton said it would seek to take part in a government bank rescue plan.

** U.S.-Swedish bourse operator Nasdaq OMX has won final approval to buy Nordic power exchange Nord Pool’s international business, Nord Pool said.

2 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Once again, Ticketmaster shows that it cannot innovate, it can only copy. There are companies like ours out there ruthlessly fighting for and winning clients that used to belong to Ticketmaster. We’re winning because we’ve shown that the old ways that made TM a giant are just that- old ways. In the new market, our interests are aligned with the clients- our innovations help them sell more tickets, which means we all make more money.

Our client’s ticket sales are actually up over last year. The economy has had little or no impact on them.


I went to the Bright Things AGM yesterday and have to say I am very impressed with the team they have got together as well as their energy, clear business plan and understanding of the market they work in

The deal with Widgetlaboratory mentioned in the article above looks like it’s going to be of huge benefit for the development of their network making tool website,

Excellent to see a microcap minnow actually doing well during these torrid market conditions


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