Ticketmaster Buys StubHub Competitor TicketsNow For $265 Million

More wheeling, dealing in advance of IAC’s breakup: The company’s Ticketmaster unit has bought ticket reseller TicketsNow for $265 million.

Like everyone else in the entertainment business, IACI’s ticket company has been intensely interested in the secondary ticket market, pegged at $2.5 billion to $5 billion, for a while. Last year eBay bought StubHub, the most prominent player, and Ticketmaster has been pushing its own version, TicketExchange, without success.

Now the acquisition gives Ticketmaster the second-biggest player in the aftermarket market. It will also pose a small public relations problem for a company that many consumers already detest for its endless and expensive fees. WSJ:

The acquisition raises potentially thorny questions for Ticketmaster, which has previously sued brokers who use automated programs called “bots” to scoop up tickets faster than regular fans can, and then resell them for big profits on sites such as TicketsNow. TicketsNow Chief Executive Cheryl Rosner said her site currently doesn’t make any effort to keep tabs on how its 800 registered sellers acquire the tickets they sell. Mr. Moriarty said Ticketmaster would attempt to root out people who used technology unfairly, although he declined to give specifics. TicketsNow sold $202 million of tickets in 2006, Ms. Rosner said.

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