Business News Deals Live Business

Ticketmaster gets approval for deal to buy Rival

By | Published on Tuesday 14 April 2020


Despite all the uncertainty in the ticketing market at the moment, Live Nation’s Ticketmaster has completed another acquisition. It’s bought one of its rivals. The rival known as Rival. A start-up founded by a former CEO of, well, Ticketmaster.

Talks between Ticketmaster and Rival’s investors have been ongoing since last summer. Rival founder and one-time Ticketmaster boss Nathan Hubbard had hoped to launch a strong competitor to his former employer, but that wasn’t to be.

The new company’s main client was sports and media firm Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, which planned to switch its ticketing allegiances from AEG to Rival, the son of that company’s owner Stan Kroenke having a stake in the start-up.

However, when Kroenke’s contract with AEG expired in July last year, the sports company instead transitioned to Ticketmaster, and those talks between Rival’s owners and the Live Nation ticketing company began.

The acquisition required approval from the US Department Of Justice, which – as of last summer – was already investigating whether Live Nation had breached the consent decree it entered into with the DoJ’s competition regulators when it bought Ticketmaster back in 2010.

For a time it looked like that investigation might lead to legal action which could have scuppered the Rival purchase. But Live Nation ultimately did a deal with the DoJ over the consent decree in December. And then, according to Billboard, the DoJ gave its separate approval of the Rival acquisition last month.

As well as the valuable Kroenke contract, Ticketmaster will also acquire Rival’s technology and team. But, Billboard reports, not Hubbard, who will now pursue other projects.