On the heels of their move to acquire U.S. ticket reseller TicketsNow for $265 million (Billboard.biz, Jan. 15), Ticketmaster has now acquired GET ME IN! (www.getmein.com), an independent web-based marketplace for music, sport, theatre and other live entertainment event tickets in Europe.

The acquisition represents a major expansion of Ticketmaster's European ticket resale business. Ticketmaster says it will create an integrated platform on which consumers will be able to simultaneously review and compare ticket availability and pricing in the primary and resale categories.

Ticketmaster plans to integrate Get Me In! with its own TicketExchange program, providing validation and electronic ticket delivery to fans purchasing in the exchange and resale marketplace. The acquisition of GET ME IN! by Ticketmaster follows a recent (Jan. 10) All-Party Select Committee report to the the U.K. Government's Dept of Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS), which recommended seeking a "middle way" for the live entertainment industry to work with the resale sector and provide added consumer protection. Ticketmaster indicates that the primary market, including venues and clients, will share in this resell revenue.

Launched in September 2003 by James Gray, Paul Montagne and Don Hughes and based in London, GET ME IN! operates one of the largest open marketplaces dedicated to live event tickets in the United Kingdom and Europe.

GET ME IN! will continue to operate from its London location and Andrew Blachman will continue as General Manager, while James Gray and Paul Montagne will continue as Senior Directors.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Eric Baker, CEO of leading European secondary ticket agency viagogo.com sees the move as further acceptance by the live business of the secondary market in the U.K. and as an acknowledgement by the primary industry that secondary ticketing is a viable option for fans.

"As the largest secondary ticketing exchange in Europe," he says, "we are always excited to see the further validation of the industry."

Baker adds: "Ticketmaster has clearly realised what was spelt out in the DCMS report; the secondary market offers real benefits for fans and is a booming market."