Concert and sporting event ticket prices have exploded since the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger, but a new California bill could break up their monopoly. And the 49ers and Warriors are completely against this bill, because they benefit handsomely from that monopoly.

It’s the hell of going to a major concert event these days that the ticket prices are outrageously expensive, and then Ticketmaster just melts down anyway when you bite the bullet and try to buy tickets. And as has been many times noted, the Ticketmaster add-on fees are often as expensive as the tickets themselves.


That may not be an accident. Ticketmaster merged with concert promoter Live Nation in 2010, so they’ve effectively created a monopoly on concert and sports tickets. Ticketmaster now controls about 70% of the live events ticket market, and has exclusive ticketing rights with more than 75% of the nation’s top-grossing venues. According to CalMatters, “Ticket prices have more than doubled since Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged, surging by an alarming 140% even when adjusted for inflation.”

Oh, and when Ticketmaster melts down, and you're forced to buy on the secondary market, Ticketmaster gets fees from that too. (A CBC report alleged that Ticketmaster recruits professional scalpers to ensure shows get sold out, a charge that Ticketmaster denies.)


East Bay state Assemblymember Buffy Wicks just introduced a California bill called AB-2808 that would lower fees and increase competition in the ticketing market. And get a load of that little Swiftie on the right in the photo above holding a sign with the Ticketmaster logo that says  “It’s me, hi, I’m the problem it’s me.”

“AB 2808 seeks to change this by requiring competition at the first point of sale for tickets,” Wicks said at a press conference announcing the bill, according to KCRA. “Instead of only having one choice, which is not actually a choice of where to shop, consumers will have multiple options of where they can purchase their ticket. Companies will have to compete for consumer business which will lead to lower fees and better service. We all know that when there’s competition it’s better for the consumer.”


But four major California sports franchises — the Golden State Warriors, San Francisco 49ers, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Rams — are all lobbying to exempt sports tickets from these rules, because they benefit from the bloated ticket market.

For their part, Ticketmaster says that regulating Ticketmaster will only help the scalpers. “We support reforms to improve ticketing, but AB 2808 will not do that," they said in a statement to KCRA. "It will instead undermine the efforts of artists, sports teams and primary ticketing companies to minimize ticket scalping.”


This is a proposed California law, and is separate from the US Department of Justice’s possible pending antitrust lawsuit against Ticketmaster and Live Nation. That suit has not yet been filed, and it’s unclear if or when it will be.

Related: The Cure Tickets Went On Sale Today, and It Was A Ticketmaster Disaster [SFNews]

Image: NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11: A sign that reads, "ticket holder entrance" is seen behind a fence outside the Beacon Theatre on the Upper West Side as the city continues the re-opening efforts following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on December 11, 2020 in New York City. The pandemic has caused long-term repercussions throughout the tourism and entertainment industries, including temporary and permanent closures of historic and iconic venues, costing the city and businesses billions in revenue. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)