Okay team, are we ready to do this? The first panel will be informative but fairly uneventful unless one of David Vitter’s hookers shows up unexpectedly and demands that her opinion be heard and the chances of that seem slim. The second panel may have more excitement since we have Anton Valukas and Lynn Turner in one corner and Cynthia Fornelli of the Center for Audit Quality and Thomas Quaadman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in other but we’ll see how things go.
We’re using a different method of live-blogging today, trying out Cover it Live for the first time on GC. You’ll be able to follow our coverage (after the jump and watch the hearing live here) and comment in real time. Once you submit your comment, I’ll simply approve it (just so long as you don’t say anything especially idiotic or offensive) and it will appear right alongside my comments. Professor Dave Albrecht is also live-blogging, so jump over to The Summa to check out his thoughts. Also, Adrienne is on the Hill today live-tweeting the proceedings, so be sure to keep tabs on the details she’s providing on nervous staffers, Brooks Brothers suits and male-pattern baldness. All right, let’s get on with it, shall we?
Congress isn’t so sure that Ticketmaster inviting Live Nation into its tentacles is a good idea. Lawmakers think that the deal would remove our only hope to defeat the Dark Side of the live entertainment industry.
Senator Herb Kohl, D-WI, who chairs the antitrust subcommittee, has said that the merged company “would enjoy a virtual stranglehold over the live entertainment industry.” Translation: Help us DOJ. You’re our only hope.
We get Congress’s desire to ask the DOJ to scrutinize the deal but if they really wanted to do something to help concert-goers, they need to have Ticketmaster explain how the “Convenience Charge” is actually convenient and why it is usually somewhere between 15 and 25% of the actual cost of the ticket. Oh, and why processing fees, handling fees, and venue fees are all ness. K, thanks. And may the force be with you.
Ticketmaster and Live Nation Merger Raises Concerns [DealBook]