Ticketmaster has reportedly completed the acquisition of ticketing startup Rival after getting the nod from the US’s Department of Justice (DOJ) antitrust division.
Rival’s founder Nathan Hubbard (pictured) was previously chief executive of the Live Nation-owned ticketing giant and founded his new firm in 2018 to compete against the behemoth.
Rival was assisted by Ticketmaster after encountering problems in its major contract with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE) last summer. According to Billboard, the relationship seems to have developed to the point that Rival has now been bought out by the ticketing giant.
Neither Ticketmaster, Live Nation or Rival has publicly commented on the acquisition as yet.
Hubbard, who ran Ticketmaster from 2007-13, raised more than $30m in venture capital to launch Rival in May 2018.
Rival’s deal with KSE came about after it said it would move away from its partnership with AEG when its contract ended last year. However, Rival encountered difficulties with a large data migration from AEG’s AXS after it assumed the contract to operate Altitude, which runs ticketing at Kroenke venues, such as the Pepsi Center in Denver. The deal with Altitude was Rival’s first agreement when it was announced in January 2019.
After Kroenke’s contract with AEG expired in July, the sports company instead transitioned to Ticketmaster. This apparently began acquisition talks between Rival’s owners and Ticketmaster.
Billionaire Stan Kroenke’s son Josh Kroenke was an investor in Rival along with Andreessen Horowitz and Upfront Ventures, and all three sold their stakes in Rival as part of the acquisition.
Ticketmaster will acquire the Kroenke contract, Rival’s technology and team, though Hubbard will reportedly pursue other projects.