AEG has fully acquired AXS Tickets from majority co-owners TPG Capital and Dan Gilbert’s Rockbridge Growth Equity.
AEG already held a 38 per cent stake in the ticketing firm, which has been its official North American ticketing partner since last September. The acquisition has yet to be confirmed by any of the companies involved. Both AEG and AXS have been contacted for comment.
Over the past year, AXS has had two unsuccessful bids from other ticketing companies, although AEG made it clear it would not give up operational control.
German firm CTS Eventim looked into a merger or acquisition with AXS, while Nathan Hubbard, with startup ticketing company Rival, also made a bid.
In 2015, AXS merged with Veritix, the ticketing company created by NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers owner Gilbert, which meant TPG and Rockridge together held 62 per cent of the company while AEG held a 38 per cent stake.
AXS has several major partners including Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise Real Salt Lake and its Rio Tinto Stadium, as well being named the official secondary ticketing partner of Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena with StubHub.
The move comes at a time when the competition in the US concert market is set to become less restricted as the consent decree governing Ticketmaster and Live Nation’s merger runs out in 2020.
The concert promoter has operated under the consent decree since 2010, which is set to expire in July 2020, that bars Live Nation from withholding concerts and tours from buildings that do not use Ticketmaster, or retaliating when venues go with a competitor.
AEG now plans to develop its own resale offering as well as looking to merge or acquire a new a ticketing partner.
AEG is reportedly also looking to pursue a non-exclusivity model for new clients, in which promoters who bring shows to the building are welcome to use the ticketing technology of their choice. This would mean that instead of paying an advance for upfront exclusivity, venues using AXS would be allowed to use Ticketmaster for any Live Nation shows brought to their facilities.