The Tale Behind StubHub’s Sale: How Eric Baker Bought Back the Ticket Seller

The Tale Behind StubHub’s Sale: How Eric Baker Bought Back the Ticket Seller

Eric Baker.

long pictured bringing together the two ticketing business he started.

Today eBay Inc. accepted offer its StubHub system, a service Mr. Baker launched almost 20 years ago, to Geneva-based Viagogo Home Entertainment Inc., the ticketing company with a large European presence he has actually been running given that 2006.

The $4.

” You had to pay through the nose or find individuals on the street corner to acquire from,” says Mr. Baker.

He headed to Stanford Graduate School of Business that fall and, together with classmate.

Jeff Fluhr,.

While attempting to protect the most important thing for any ticketing company– inventory– Mr. Baker recalls that sports leagues, which were cautious of being associated with scalping, were a hard sell.

Mr. Baker and Mr. Fluhr– who was chief executive and had bulk ownership of the business– had their distinctions, and in 2004 Mr. Baker left at the board’s direction, stated people familiar with the decision.

When eBay bought StubHub in 2007, Mr. Baker says he opposed the deal.

Alphabet Inc.

‘s Google stated it suspended the site from putting paid ads in search results, based upon the guidance of advertising regulators. In September, the Competition and Markets Authority said Viagogo resolved the exceptional concerns and suspended preparations for court action.

Mr. Baker, Viagogo’s CEO, says the business has taken actions to be more proactive with regulators and to make the business more transparent. “When you remain in a disruptive business you have to do that education process,” he said.

His reputation in the industry– amongst folks he has both worked and competed with– is one of a hard-nosed, relentless deal maker and ruthless strategist with sharp elbows. These individuals say, and Mr. Baker does not disagree, that he can be challenging to deal with. However they state his detailed understanding of crucial subtleties in ticketing make him amongst the most intelligent and thoughtful minds in the business. At Viagogo, Mr. Baker took on an operational role as the brains behind the business and has actually let others deal directly with customers.

With StubHub, he’s facing a significantly congested and competitive market for stock in the U.S. The live-events business has actually been growing for numerous years as consumers continue to spend for premium experiences. StubHub, while a dominant consumer brand, faces competitors from active upstarts like Vivid Seats LLC and SeatGeek Inc., and.

Live Nation Home Entertainment Inc.

‘s Ticketmaster has actually been expanding its resale service.

Meanwhile, some in the industry believe the offer will tip off a wave of combination.

Mr. Baker states it will be necessary for the combined Viagogo-StubHub to be able to distribute globally. He states that will be attractive to content owners– teams, artists and venues– wanting to reach more fans: “We desire fans to be able to get to any occasion, anywhere, anytime.”

Compose to Anne Steele at Anne.Steele@wsj.com

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