I hate to think it’s the wave of the future – corporate giants that can’t be toppled,” Eddie Vedder told fans at Pearl Jam‘s July 11 Chicago show, referring to the Justice Department’s July 5 announcement that it was dropping its antitrust investigation into Ticketmaster. The move came 11 days after Pearl Jam canceled half of their troubled tour using ticketing agency ETM.
Ironically, the band’s use of a smaller agency may have contributed to the department’s decision. “There are new enterprises coming into the [ticketing] arena,” attorney general Janet Reno said. The move came a day before officials were to meet with ETM representatives. “We understood we’d have an opportunity to give our side,” says ETM exec Ray Garman.
Perhaps Ticketmaster was taken by surprise as well. In March it sent its contracted venues a gloomy assessment of the investigation’s progress; some of the venues then hired Brown and Bain, formerly the law firm of the head of the department’s antitrust division, to lobby on their behalf. The department maintains it “will continue to monitor competitive developments in the ticketing industry.”
Garman says that despite the difficulties, “there will be more Pearl Jam shows,” including dates in the Northeast.
This story is from the August 24th, 1995 issue of Rolling Stone.