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Ken Frank named MD of See Tickets Switzerland

See Tickets Switzerland, formerly Starticket, has promoted Ken Frank to managing director, effective from 1 October.

Frank has been working for Starticket for over 17 years, serving originally as COO and then chief product officer and deputy CEO since 2016.

He will succeed Christof Zogg, who is leaving the company, and will report to Karim Ayari, CEO Continental Europe at See Tickets.

“With Ken Frank, we have found an ideal internal successor as managing director,” says Rob Wilmshurst, global CEO at See Tickets.

“With Ken Frank, we have found an ideal internal successor as managing director”

“We are delighted that he will continue to bring his experience and network to our new company. At the same time, we would like to thank Christof Zogg for his outstanding work – especially during the last few months, which have been very challenging due to the Corona crisis and the simultaneous transition.”

See Tickets acquired Zurich-based Starticket earlier this year, bolstering the UK-based ticket seller’s presence on the continent and expanding its footprint to a ninth European market.

Starticket was formerly owned by TX Group, Switzerland’s largest media company and was the country’s second-biggest concert ticketing platform, behind CTS Eventim’s Ticketcorner, according to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2019.

As a result of the merger, Vivendi-owned See sells nearly 30m tickets a year for 10,000 clients, including Glastonbury Festival, the Château de Versailles, L’Olympia in Paris, Garorock and Tomorrowland (pictured). Its presence in the US means it is active in ten markets worldwide.

 


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See Tickets acquires Switzerland’s Starticket

See Tickets has acquired Starticket, a major player in Switzerland, bolstering the UK-based ticket seller’s presence on the continent and expanding its footprint to a ninth European market.

Zurich-based Starticket – formerly owned by TX Group, Switzerland’s largest media company – sells more than five million tickets annually, and is the country’s second-biggest concert ticketing platform, behind CTS Eventim’s Ticketcorner, according to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2019. The acquisition by See comes nearly three years after a merger between Starticket and Ticketcorner was blocked by Swiss competition regulators.

As a result of the merger, Vivendi-owned See sells nearly 30m tickets a year for 10,000 clients, including Glastonbury Festival, the Château de Versailles, L’Olympia in Paris, Garorock and Tomorrowland (pictured). Its presence in the US means it is active in ten markets worldwide.

Samuel Hügli, head of technology and ventures at TX Group (formerly Tamedia) says: “With this acquisition by See Tickets, Starticket will become part of a leading international ticketing service provider that uses cutting-edge technology and has a huge network with numerous partnerships.

“We have long admired Starticket as a stand-out independent ticketing company in Switzerland”

“This will strengthen Starticket in international competition and allow See Tickets to benefit from Starticket’s many years of experience in the Swiss market.”

“I am delighted to welcome Starticket and its experienced management team into our group,” adds See Tickets’ global CEO, Rob Wilmshurst. “We have long admired Starticket as a stand-out independent ticketing company in Switzerland, and I know that together we will be able to further develop the quality and range of services to our clients and customers in the country.”

According to PwC, Switzerland is Europe’s eighth-biggest live music market, worth US$370 million in ticket sales in 2019, and the 13th-biggest globally. Read IQ’s latest Switzerland market report here:

Switzerland market report: positive signs

 


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Comedy duo smash Swiss ticket sales record

Comic duo Cabaret DivertiMento have broken the record for the highest-ever ticket sales for a single tour of Switzerland.

The pair’s Sabbatical tour, which began in September 2016, has sold more than 350,000 tickets to date. In recognition of the new record, Christof Zogg, CEO of ticket agency Starticket, presented DivertiMento’s Jonny Fischer and Manuel Burkart with a ‘golden ticket award’ before their recent show at the Messehalle in Berne.

Zogg said the level of DivertiMento’s success has not been “achieved by other [local] greats such as Cabaret Rotstift, Marcocello, Cabaret Götterspass, the Schmirinskis or Peach Weber, nor international superstars like AC/DC or Metallica. We congratulate the duo on this success.”

 


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Switzerland’s Starticket appoints new CEO

Leading Swiss ticketing platform Starticket has appointed former Swiss Railways exec Christof Zogg as CEO.

Zogg replaces outgoing CEO Stefan Riedel, who has left the company, effective 1 January 2019. He was previously director of digital business at Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), which he joined in 2014 from Microsoft Switzerland.

According to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2018, Starticket is the second-largest entertainment ticket seller in Switzerland, “snapping at [the] heels” of market leader Ticketcorner, owned by CTS Eventim. Ticketcorner/Eventim last year attempted unsuccessfully to acquire Starticket, with the merger blocked by Switzerland’s Federal Competition Commission.

“Christof Zogg … is well qualified to further strengthen Starticket’s role as a service provider”

Starticket sells millions of tickets annually through Starticket.ch and its network of 1,500 booking offices and call centres.

“Christof Zogg successfully advanced digital sales at SBB and with his experience in the field of digital business, and he is well qualified to further strengthen Starticket’s role as a service provider,” says Samuel Hügli, head of technology and ventures at Starticket owner Tamedia.

“On behalf of Tamedia’s management board I wish him a good start and expect that, together with our customers and partners, we will carry on the success story of Starticket.”

 


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Swiss regulator blocks ticketing merger

The Swiss Federal Competition Commission has refused to sanction the agreed merger of Switzerland’s two largest ticket agencies, Starticket and Ticketcorner.

Ticketcorner – jointly owned by CTS Eventim and Zurich-based conglomerate Ringier – and Starticket – a division of mass-media giant Tamedia – announced their intention to merge last November, five months after the registration of Ticketmaster Switzerland GmbH by Live Nation Luxembourg, which sparked rumours of a local launch of Ticketmaster.

The Federal Competition Commission (Wettbewerbskommission, Weko) began investigating the merger in February, saying it had found evidence of “the creation or strengthening of a dominant market position” in the Swiss ticketing market.

Announcing its decision yesterday, Weko said the new company would have constituted a monopoly, gaining an “increasingly dominant position” for ticket sales in Switzerland.

“The proposed merger would allow the two companies to control the Swiss market … and eliminate effective competition”

“The proposed merger would allow the two companies to control the Swiss market for third-party sales of tickets and eliminate effective competition,” reads a statement. “In addition, the companies’ links with two large media groups, Ringier and Tamedia, would have strengthened the position of the new company in the market (conglomerate effects).”

A statement from Tamedia says the company “regrets the decision” and reserves the right to take legal action.

“The rejection of the merger by the Competition Commission fails to recognise the dynamic development taking place in the ticketing market and weakens Swiss suppliers in international competition,” it says.

 


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Competition watchdog probes Ticketcorner merger

The Swiss Competition Commission (Wettbewerbskommission, Weko) is to investigate the merger of the country’s leading ticket agencies, Ticketcorner and Starticket, over concerns the combined company would have a monopoly on ticketing in Switzerland.

Ticketcorner and Starticket, which between them control around 85% of the live entertainment ticket market, announced their intention to merge in November, with 75% of the shares in the new operation held by Ticketcorner’s parent companies, CTS Eventim and Ringier, and 25% by Starticket parent Tamedia.

“Weko will consider what consequences the proposed merger will have on competition”

“Following a preliminary examination,” says a statement from the commission, “Weko has found evidence of the creation or strengthening of a dominant market position, in particular in the distribution of tickets to third parties and software solutions offered to event promoters. For this reason, Weko will consider what consequences the proposed merger will have on competition.”

The commission adds its investigation will be concluded by 13 June.

 


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