RealTime IT News

Ticketmaster Acquires Dutch Ticket Service

Ticketmaster expanded its empire Friday with the purchase of Ticket Service Nederland B.V., a large live event ticketing company based in The Hague.

The Dutch company, which has been around since June 30, 1998, sells an estimated 3 million event tickets every year for some of the country's leading event producers.

The Los Angeles-based Ticketmaster said it bought Ticket Service Nederland from former shareholders, Postkantooren B.V. (Dutch Post Office) and KPN Consumer Internet and Media Services B.V. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Ticketmaster said it would continue to provide ticketing services through the Post's outlet network.

"The acquisition of Ticket Service Nederland follows our recent expansions into Norway and Scotland and adds an important market to Ticketmaster's growing European network." said Ticketmaster International executive vice president Edwin S. ("Trip") Friendly III. "We have grown our European business substantially over the past twelve months and look to continue to expand our footprint in the future.

Ticketmaster's European ticketing operations now include England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Norway and The Netherlands.

It is uncertain at this point whether the acquisition will fall into the hands of media tycoon Barry Diller's USA Interactive Inc. . Earlier this week, Diller offered to buy out the stake it does not already control in Expedia , Hotels.com and Ticketmaster.

On Wednesday, the plan was put on hold after investors questioned whether swapping their shares for 2.6969 of USA's would stymie growth, especially as USA's price started to slide.

If Ticketmaster's gain gets shuffled off to Diller, it would be a doozy. Ticketmaster sold 86.7 million tickets in 2001 valued at more than $3.6 billion, through approximately 3,300 retail Ticket Center outlets; 20 worldwide telephone call centers; and its Web site. The company serves more than 7,000 clients worldwide

Earlier this year, Ticketmaster announced its selection as the official ticketing provider and supporter of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and the exclusive ticketing services supplier for the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.