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What is apparent is that the Ticketmaster-Springsteen contretemps is the first foray in what will be a continuing propaganda battle for the hearts and minds of the public as the company attempts to push through its merger with Live Nation.
BARRY VS. THE BOSS
N.Y. Post: Ticketmaster Ruler Barry Diller Targets Springsteen for Concert-Ticket Flap
Ticketmaster ruler Barry Diller is now taking on Bruce Springsteen in a concert-ticket controversy that put the company’s policies in the spotlight as its proposed merger with Live Nation comes under government scrutiny.

The N.Y. Post report follows similar stories in the Wall Street Journal and Newark Star-Ledger that nearly 2,300 total tickets for a May 21 Springsteen performance at the Izod Center in E. Rutherford, NJ, were held back from fans and reserved for “friends of the band, the record label and the New Jersey Sports and Exhibition Authority, which operates the venue."

The controversy started when a reported technical computer glitch redirected fans from the Ticketmaster site to the company’s higher-priced secondary reseller TicketsNow.com.

"Bruce Springsteen has been one of our most vocal critics on our ticketing policies and while he's more than entitled to his opinion, it seems minimally fair-minded to point out that in the concert that created the fracas, where Ticketmaster apologized for making a technical mistake, it seems that Mr. Springsteen held back from his fans all but 108 of the 1,126 tickets closest to the stage," Diller said.

Springsteen manager Jon Landau insisted that "the vast majority" of tickets closest to the stage are in fact sold to Springsteen fans. The rest, Landau admitted, “are used by Bruce and his band members; by the record label for their staff, for reviewers, and for radio stations; by charities who are provided with tickets that they may auction; and for other similar purposes."

The resulting dispute became a flash point for everyone from congressional members to Springsteen himself, who blasted Ticketmaster for orchestrating a bait-and-switch scheme.

What is apparent is that the Ticketmaster-Springsteen contretemps is the first foray in what will be a continuing propaganda battle for the hearts and minds of the public as the company attempts to push through its merger with Live Nation.

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