Rupert Murdoch's News Limited has launched a new Australian ticketing service which it bullishly claims will take on the country's two biggest players, Ticketek and Ticketmaster.

The new Foxtix business has three chief aims, explains News Limited's chairman and chief executive John Hartigan. To break-up the "cosy duopoly in ticketing in Australia," he says, "give consumers access to lower booking fees, and utilize News Limited's media assets to give ticket buyers, venues, promoters and artists a stronger alternative to what currently exists in ticketing."

Foxtix will target music, arts and "experience" events. Among the first raft of concerts for which it will handle ticketing will be an Oct. 21 concert by chart-topping crossover artist David Campbell at the Canberra's Southern Cross Club.

The new business will operate alongside the affiliated music ticketing firm Moshtix, a distant third in the market with an estimated 4-5% share. Adam McArthur, currently GM of Moshtix, will also lead the new company in the capacity as GM. News Limited acquired the digitally-focused Moshtix in January 2007.

In a statement issued today (Oct. 18), News Limited outlined its "aggressive entry" plans which will leverage the media group's various platforms, which include the MySpace social networking service and a range of national and regional Australian newspaper titles.

Subscribers to News Limited's newspapers, Websites and apps will earn exclusive opportunities to purchase tickets prior to general sale, and will be in the hunt for exclusive access to events and discounts. The business will also enable its consumers to purchase tickets on mobile devices and re-sell tickets.

"Foxtix will do things differently," comments McArthur. "Compared to Ticketek and Ticketmaster, Foxtix will give venues and promoters more control of the ticketing of their event and more buyer data - at a lower cost. Foxtix will also be giving consumers lower booking and transaction fees on their tickets."

McArthur continues, "Venues, event managers and promoters have been telling us for a long time that there is a clear need for a third player to enter the market to offer a friendlier, alternative service. With Foxtix, we are confident we are answering this call."

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