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They Were Swift!

Updated: Mar 5, 2023

On February 24, 2009, esteemed anti-trust attorney David Balto testified before THE Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights.

Balto was there to express his concerns for the “severe competitive problems which may arise” from a proposed merger between ticket sales and distribution giant Ticketmaster and venue operator Live Nation.

THE attorney encouraged the Senate committee to enjoin the merger, further testifying that Ticketmaster already faced “no significant competition” in the primary ticket market!

Balto went on to add that allowing the “ticketing monopolist” to merge with Live Nation, the nation’s largest concert promotor, posed a “significant threat to independent concert promotion” further asserting that the merged firm will, “Be able to foreclose competition in both markets.”

He ended his presentation by imploring the senators to order the Department of Justice to investigate not just this merger, but existing “anticompetitive conduct” in the ticketing markets.

Advice which the committee accepted.

Though after a year-long investigation by the Justice Department, THE merger between the entertainment giants was allowed to go through.

Say Tay!

The 14-years since Balto’s testimony have proven the attorney prescient. Since the merger, Ticketmaster’s dominion over the new and resale ticket markets has only grown.

Leaving only Taylor Swift powerful enough to bring THE master to heal: it was pressure from Swifties which prompted the Department of Justice to launch its second investigation into Ticketmaster's monopolistic practices in the last five-years.

Which is not the company's only problem with the United States government!

In May of last year Congressperson Bill Pascrell from New Jersey announced that he had issued letters to both the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission calling for an investigation into Ticketmaster’s anti-competitive practices.

After failing to secure Taylor Swift tickets for his granddaughter Pascrell went further, calling for THE monopoly be broken up and regulated by the federal government.

Finish THE Job

Now, it’s the job of the Justice Department to determine whether Ticketmaster is a monopoly on the order of Standard Oil or Ma’ Bell.

Live Nation president Joe Berchtold disagrees with Swifties that the company’s 80% market share limits competitions and harms consumers, testifying recently to the same Senate sub-committee which approved the merger that it was bots which were to blame for the Taylor Swift fiasco.

THE executive further assuring the Senators on the committee that consumers fed up with Ticketmaster still had choices.

Go, or don't go?

A paint dealer I’m working with has seen his business grow more than 75% since THE pandemic began, a steep graph for a multi-generational business in a market segment historically known for more moderate growth.

Despite labor shortages which have been particularly challenging for retailers, this dealer has been able to add enough headcount to keep pace.

Other dealers, have not been so fortunate.

With a hodgepodge of new hires and weary veterans, it was time to bring intention to his staffing structure and chain of command.

We began by listing every task his staff needed to perform to ensure that his customers were well cared for and his stores well maintained.

With all those tasks identified, we organized them by appropriate job-title, adding details to the descriptions as we did.

The resulting document able to both guide employees on how best to perform their jobs, while giving managers the tools to oversee those efforts!

Additionally, the document will become the curriculum for product, best practices and customer services trainings we plan to add during the coming months.

Size Matters

Most smaller dealers I've spoken with don't engage in the practice of using job descriptions for each employee in the their stores. Most sharing that they struggle to find the hours they would need to write and organize each job description.

Well, now they don't have to!


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