AEG Acquires 100% Ownership Over AXS Tickets

AEG, the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company, has become the 100% owner of AXS Tickets after buying out co-owners Rockbridge Growth Equity and TPG Capital. The deal comes after AEG, which previously owned 38% of the company, faced difficulties making the kind of investments necessary to keep up with Ticketmaster, according to Billboard. As a minority owner, AEG first needed approvals from both Rockbridge Growth Equity and TPG Capital prior to making substantial investments or strategic changes.

The acquisition comes ahead of a pivotal moment next year, when Live Nation’s consent decree relating to its acquisition of Ticketmaster is expected to finally end, along with all the restrictions it imposed on AEG’s largest competitor. However, that’s no guarantee, especially with the US Department of Justice investigation into Live Nation in full swing. Still, a relaxation of consent decree limitations would intensify the competitive pressure on AEG.

AXS has had limited success competing against Ticketmaster so far, but the acquisition may help AEG make the kind of investments necessary to improve its position in the market. Prior to the acquisition, two other companies, Germany-based CTS Eventim and Rival, had unsuccessfully attempted to acquire AXS, according to the Billboard report.

TPG Capital obtained its interest in AXS when it acquired Cirque du Soleil back in 2015. It was Cirque du Soleil’s ticketing technology in 2011 that powered the creation of AXS, which became a competitor to Ticketmaster one year after the company was acquired by Live Nation. Rockbridge Growth Equity, which is controlled by Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, also obtained its share of AXS in 2015. This is when its Veritix ticketing company merged with AXS, giving Rockbridge Growth Equity and TPG Capital 62% ownership of the ticketing company.

The acquisition could be a game-changer for AEG, but it will have to overcome some major challenges to compete with Ticketmaster. One of the biggest challenges is Ticketmaster’s dominance in the market. Ticketmaster is the world’s largest ticketing company, with a market share of over 80%. It has a massive network of venues, promoters, and artists, which makes it difficult for other ticketing companies to compete.

Another challenge is the complexity of the ticketing market. The ticketing market is incredibly complex, with different ticket types, pricing structures, and distribution channels. This complexity makes it difficult for new entrants to enter the market and compete with established players like Ticketmaster.

However, AEG has some advantages that could help it compete with Ticketmaster. One of the advantages is its network of venues and promoters. AEG owns and operates over 120 venues worldwide, including some of the most iconic arenas and stadiums. It also has a large network of promoters, which gives it a significant advantage in the market.

Another advantage is its focus on technology. AEG has been investing heavily in technology in recent years, and it has developed some innovative ticketing solutions. For example, it has developed a mobile app that allows fans to buy, sell, and transfer tickets directly from their smartphones.

Overall, the acquisition of AXS could help AEG improve its position in the ticketing market and compete more effectively with Ticketmaster. However, it will face some major challenges, and it remains to be seen whether it will succeed in the long run.