According to the Wall Street Journal, before it decided to merge with Live Nation, Ticketmaster was actively investigating a way to nobble Live Nation’s move into ticketing. Project Showtime “sought to combine several of the nation’s biggest ticket scalpers with Ticketmaster and other major concert-industry players,” says the report, claiming that those other players included AEG Live and MSG Entertainment. A number of US secondary ticketing firms were included in the talks, and the article suggests that a Van Halen tour in 2007 was used as a test – with up to 500 seats from 20 gigs reserved for the ticket brokers, with 70% of the markup price being split between Ticketmaster and the band.

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