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The Live Nation and Ticketmaster monopoly of live entertainment



The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing this week titled, “That’s the Ticket: Promoting Competition and Protecting Consumers in Live Entertainment,” which focused on the state of Live Nation Entertainment and the lack of competition in the primary and secondary ticketing markets.

“I just want to dispel this notion that this is not a monopoly and then we can go from there about solutions,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said at the hearing, which was held Tuesday.

Live Nation Entertainment is composed of Live Nation, an events promoter and venue operator, and Ticketmaster, a ticket sales giant. The two companies merged in 2010 and now control an estimated 70% of the ticketing and live event venues market.

It’s no secret that Taylor Swift fans were outraged in November 2022 when millions flocked to to grab tickets to see the heartbreak queen for the first time since 2018 and the website crashed. The long wait lines and frozen screens sparked an uproar with fans, blaming Ticketmaster for ruining their chances to see the pop star.

“As the leading player, we have an obligation to do better,” said Joe Berchtold, Live Nation Entertainment president and chief financial officer, at the hearing Tuesday.

This is not the first time consumers have called for the breakup of Ticketmaster and Live Nation. It’s also not the first time the Department of Justice has been reportedly looking into alleged misconduct by the company.

When the Live Nation and Ticketmaster merger was approved in 2010, it was under the condition of a consent decree. Among other things, the purpose of that agreement was to forbid Live Nation from retaliating against a venue for using a ticketer other than Ticketmaster. After an investigation, in 2019 the DOJ made its most significant enforcement action of an antitrust decree in 20 years when it alleged Live Nation Entertainment violated that decree. The company settled with the government.

“The Department of Justice alleged six issues in 2019 which led to our decision with them to extend the consent decree. We did not feel it made sense to be seen as defending the theories of retaliation or threats. It’s not our business practice. It goes against our fundamental focus on alignment with the artists. The idea that we would ever put our interests ahead of theirs. So we are comfortable extending the consent decree,” said Berchtold during Tuesday’s hearing. “It is absolutely our policy to not pressure, threaten or retaliate against venues by using content as part of the ticketing discussion,” he added.

In November 2022, The New York Times reported the DOJ is once again investigating the company.

While Live Nation Entertainment arguably has a monopoly on the industry, a monopoly in itself is not illegal in the United States. A monopoly occurs when a company holds exclusive possession or control of an industry.  

“If we made monopolies illegal on the basis of pricing above cost and generating monopoly profits for a firm, the concern would be that that would potentially stifle risk-taking and entrepreneurial activity,” said Diana Moss, president of the American Antitrust Institute.

Abuse of a monopoly position is another matter. It’s illegal for a business to establish or maintain a monopoly through improper conduct and not allow for others to enter the market. 

Clyde Lawrence, a singer-songwriter in the New York City-based band Lawrence, testified during Tuesday’s hearing. The band regularly interacts with Live Nation Entertainment. It’s often their promoter, venue operator and ticketer. 

“In a world where the promoter and the venue are not affiliated with each other, we can trust that the promoter will look to get the best deal from the venue; however, in this case the promoter and the venue are part of the same corporate entity so the line items are essentially Live Nation negotiating to pay itself,” Lawrence said.

The band told CNBC if they want to play a certain size venue in a particular city, they are sometimes left no choice other than to use Live Nation because of the lack of competition in some regions. Then if they would like to use another ticketer other than Ticketmaster, they say that is not an option.

“Ticketmaster has created these exclusive contracts, once you sign that contract, a band is not allowed to come in and say, ‘we want to sell our tickets with X, Y, Z platform,'” said Jordan Cohen, one of the band’s eight members.

They even have a song with the lyric, “Live Nation is a monopoly.” “Due to Live Nation’s control across the industry, we have practically no leverage in negotiating,” Lawrence said.

While the company does have some competition, experts say no other firm currently stands a chance.

“There’s really no one that’s been able to get the type of scale that Live Nation has. The closest comparable is Anschutz Entertainment Group with their own kind of internal ticketing platform. But they made a statement that speaks to the market power of Ticketmaster, which is that they used Ticketmaster to ticket Taylor Swift,” said Barton Crockett, managing director and senior equity analyst at Rosenblatt Securities.

It’s a business that a lot of people have looked at. They’ve spoken about wanting to get into it, and no one’s really been able to grab enough market share to really be a meaningful player,” he added.

Live Nation declined CNBC’s request for an interview or comment but in a statement on its website said that it’s against company policy to threaten venues if they do not use Ticketmaster and that it does not retaliate for a lost ticketing deal.

It’s unclear what’s next for Live Nation Entertainment.

Watch this video to learn more about how the company got to where it is today and what the future might hold.

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Valley National bidding for Silicon Valley Bank: Report



Valley National Bancorp is vying to buy Silicon Valley Bank, Bloomberg News reported on Saturday. The regional bank has submitted a bid to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC), the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

A man puts a sign on the door of the Silicon Valley Bank as an onlooker watches at the bank’s headquarters in Santa Clara, California(REUTERS)

The FDIC which now controls the Silicon Valley Bank assets, when asked for a comment on the report said it is not confirming or commenting on names being reported as potential bidders for SVB. Valley National Bancorp did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

First Citizens BancShares Inc, one of the biggest buyers of failed U.S. lenders, has also submitted a bid for all of Silicon Valley Bank, a source told Reuters earlier this week.

After failing to sell SVB’s private banking business alongside Silicon Valley Bank over the last two weeks, the FDIC has asked for separate offers for the bank and its private arm by March 24. It is expected to announce a winner as early as this weekend.

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Shawn Fain unseats incumbent Ray Curry



Shawn Fain, candidate for UAW president, is in a run-off election with incumbent Ray Curry for the union’s highest-ranking position.

Jim West for UAW Members United

Supporters wave signs during an address at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, on September 5, 2012 on the second day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC).

Mladin Antonov | AFP | Getty Images

DETROIT – United Auto Workers members have ousted their president in the union’s first direct election, ushering in a new era for the prominent organized labor group ahead of negotiations later this year with the Detroit automakers.

The union’s new leader will be Shawn Fain, a member of the “UAW Members United” reform group and local leader for a Stellantis parts plant in Indiana. He came out ahead in a runoff election by hundreds of votes over incumbent Ray Curry, who was appointed president by union leaders in 2021.

Fain, in a statement Saturday, thanked UAW members who voted in the election. He also hailed the election results as a historic change in direction for the embattled union, which he says will take a “more aggressive approach” with its employers.

“This election was not just a race between two candidates, it was a referendum on the direction of the UAW. For too long, the UAW has been controlled by leadership with a top-down, company union philosophy who have been unwilling to confront management, and as a result we’ve seen nothing but concessions, corruption, and plant closures,” Fain said.

Curry, who previously protested the narrow election results, said in a statement that Fain will be sworn in on Sunday and that Curry is “committed to ensuring that this transition is smooth and without disruptions.”

“I want to express my deep gratitude to all UAW staff, clerical support, leaders and most of all, our union’s active and retired members for the many years of support and solidarity. It has been the honor of my life to serve our great union,” Curry said.

More than 141,500 ballots were cast in the runoff election that also included two other board positions, a 33% increase from last year’s direct election in which neither of the presidential candidates received 50% or more of the votes.

The election was overseen by a federal monitor, who did not immediately confirm the results. The election results had been delayed several weeks due to a run-off election as well as the close final count.

Shawn Fain, candidate for UAW president, is in a run-off election with incumbent Ray Curry for the union’s highest-ranking position.

Jim West for UAW Members United

Fain’s election adds to the UAW’s largest upheaval in leadership in decades, as a majority of the union’ s International Executive Board will be made up of first-time directors who are not part of the “Administration Caucus” that has controlled the union for more than 70 years.

Fain and other members of his leadership slate ran on the promise of “No corruption. No concessions. No tiers.” The last being a reference to a tiered pay system implemented by the automakers during recent negotiations that members have asked to be removed.

The shuffle follows a yearslong federal investigation that uncovered systemic corruption involving bribery, embezzlement, and other crimes among the top ranks of the UAW.

Thirteen UAW officials were convicted as part of the probe, including two past presidents. As part of a settlement with the union in late 2020, a federal monitor was appointed to oversee the union and the organization held a direct election where each member has a vote, doing away with a weighted delegate process.

For investors, UAW negotiations with the Detroit automakers are typically a short-term headwind every four years that result in higher costs. But this year’s negotiations are anticipated to be among the most contentious and important in recent memory.

Fain has said the union will seek benefit gains for members, advocating for the return of a cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, as well as raises and job security.

The change in the UAW comes against the backdrop of a broader organized labor movement across the country, a pro-union president and an industry in transition to all-electric vehicles.

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This bank is giving interests at 9.01% in just 1000 days



Fincare Small Finance Bank (SFB) increased the interest rate on fixed accounts of less than Rs. 2 crore. Senior citizens can earn at an interest rate of 9.01% on deposits with a term of 1000 days, while the general public can earn interests at 8.41%. The new fixed deposit rates will be implemented on March 24, 2023, bank says, reports Live Mint.

Every bank or financial institution that offers the fixed deposit facility sets its FD interest rates based on various internal and external factors.

Fixed deposit rates

The bank will pay 3% interest on fixed deposits maturing in 7 to 45 days, while 4.50% interest on savings maturing in 46 to 90 days. Fincare SFB will pay 5.50% interest on savings with terms ranging from 91 to 180 days, and 6.25% interest on deposits with terms ranging from 181 to 364 days.

Deposits maturing in 12 to 499 days now earn 7.50% interest, while those maturing in 500 days earn 7.75%. The bank will pay 7.50% interest on fixed deposits maturing in 501 days to 18 months, while 7.80% interest on savings maturing in 18 months, 1 day to 24 months.

ALSO READ: Earn up to 8.50 percent* p.a. interest on Fixed Deposit with AU Small Finance Bank

Fincare SFB will pay 7.90% on accounts with terms of 24 months, 1 day to 749 days, while the bank has raised the interest rate to 8.11% on deposits with terms of 750 days. Investments expiring in the next 751 days to 30 months will now earn 7.90% interest, while deposits maturing in the next 30 months and a day to 999 days will now earn 8% interest.

On fixed deposits maturing in 1000 days to 18 months, the bank offers an interest rate of 8.41%; on deposits maturing in 1001 days to 36 months, the bank provides an interest rate of 8%. The interest rate on a deposit tenor of 42 months to 59 months has been raised to 7.50%, and an interest rate of 8.25% is offered on a deposit tenor of 36 months 1 day to 42 months. Deposits with terms between 59 and 66 months earn 8% interest, while those with maturities between 66 and 84 months earn 7%.

Fincare SFB will pay an interest rate of 8.41% on fixed savings with maturities ranging from 1000 days to 18 months, and will pay an interest rate of 8% on accounts with maturities ranging from 1001 days to 36 months.

While banks increased their deposit rates to 7.50% on terms ranging from 42 months to 59 months, it gives an interest rate of 8.25% on terms ranging from 36 months 1 day to 42 months. Deposits between 59 and 66 months of maturity will give an interest of 8%, and for 66 and 84 months of maturity depositors will earn interest at a rate of 7%.

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