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Excerpt from our One Page Annotated Wall Street Journal Summary (receive it by email every morning by signing up here):

To Protect Its Box-Office Turf, Ticketmaster Plays Rivals' Tune

  • Summary: In a bid to capture a greater percentage of the ticket sales business, Ticketmaster, a division of IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI), has entered into a practice it has long spurned: The ticket resale business.bstix Sites like eBay (EBAY) and StubHub have long acted as middlemen in the ticket sales business, allowing tickets to be resold - auction style - to the highest online bidder, then collecting a processing fee from both buyer and seller. With Ticketmaster's overall ticket sales decreasing, the company has been forced to rely on higher ticket prices and service charges to continue to grow its net earnings. With online ticket resales bringing in as much as $5 billion in revenue last year - perhaps as much as all of Ticketmaster's sales during the same period - Ticketmaster is beginning to offer online auctions with the hope it can capture some of its competitors' business. The practice on online ticket auctions is of questionable legality and until recently, Ticketmaster opposed it meaning their recent decision to engage in online ticket resales marks a 180 degree turnabout for the company.
  • Comment on related stocks/ETFs: For more on Tiketmaster, read Ticketmaster parent company IAC/InterActiveCorp's most recent conference call transcript. Also, see Jim Cramer's take on IACI. Here's a Personal Finance Tip for finding tickets to sold out events.

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Source: Ticketmaster Enters the Ticket Auction Business