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Ticket merger could be costly

February 21, 2009

Shame on Randy Lewis and The Times for repeating or implying such a bald-faced lie as the following, attributed to Ticketmaster's Irving Azoff and Live Nation's Michael Rapino: "Both executives want to explore new methods to keep tickets in the hands of fans rather than scalpers" ["Is This Merger Just the Ticket?" Feb. 12].

As one of those fans appalled by having Ticketmaster display offers for excellent tickets at a premium over face value from Ticketmaster-owned ticket broker (i.e., scalper) TicketsNow at the very moment sales began for Bruce Springsteen's second L.A. Sports Arena date, while Ticketmaster itself was offering seating across the arena from the stage as "best available," it's clear the only advantage the merged companies want is for themselves, not fans. They can't be interested in shutting out scalpers by being scalpers themselves.

Michael Voss



Ignored by this rock concert flim-flam is the fact that Ticketmaster rips off at seemingly every venue -- from classical to theatrical to sports events to UCLA Live. So it is clear that these charlatans are throwing up a smoke screen.

Nowhere does anyone mention that one large reason for empty seats is that -- on top of high ticket prices -- they add what ought to be unlawful ticketing charges. That people pay them is one of many oddities about life in this world.

Ron Di Costanzo

Santa Monica

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