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Live Nation / Ticketmaster Merger Announcement Nears

09:01 AM Monday 2/9/09 |   |

Live Nation and Ticketmaster reportedly met last night, Feb. 8, with a merger to be announced as early as today.

The board meetings, held right after the Grammys, would announce the attempt to form Live Nation Entertainment, according to the Wall Street Journal. Initial reports had the name as Live Nation Ticketmaster. All but final negotiations were completed Feb. 8, with an announcement due as early as today or tomorrow, the WSJ reported.

Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino would retain his title in the new company, and Ticketmaster CEO Irving Azoff would be named executive chairman, retaining his control of Front Line Management, the paper said. Barry Diller, who runs Ticketmaster’s former parent company and is TM’s chairman, will be named nonexecutive chairman.

Sources told the WSJ the merger is expected to pass regulation with ease because the two companies are not competitors. Industry foes, however, fear the merger would exert undue influence – a venue, for instance, would feel pressure to renew its Ticketmaster contract lest it find Front Line artists or Live Nation tours diverting concerts from the facility.

One expert told the WSJ regulators could oppose the merger because of its “vertical” integration model, although that has not been the case of late. President Barack Obama’s new administration, though, may oppose the deal considering the public’s animosity toward both companies, the paper noted.

Comments

  1. evilrob wrote:

    01:17 PM, Feb 09, 2009

    Sooo, Live Nation's going to make a dump truck full of money now, since they're going to continue selling tickets for LN controlled venues (which is already money in their pockets through the promoter), plus the usual dump truck full of money for their random service charges, NOT to mention their "parking fees" for the ampitheaters (and WHY it's ok and legal to charge 4 people for parking fees when they're all in ONE car and using ONE space only, is totally beyond me). A 20,000 person venue, LN already runs, and either owns or leases the property, and they're copping AT LEAST an extra 15,000 dollars off of the concertgoers if only 15k by tickets.

    This is an instance, where while Ticketmaster has dozens of serious faults that make us wish there was a way to ween venues and artists from using companies like TM and LN, Ticketmaster has the right idea. Compare service charges sometimes. I've paid up to 10 bucks in a service charge for an artist at one Live Nation venue, and then turned around and paid 4-6 bucks for the same artist at a TM sold venue, with a better and more intimate view of the artist.

    I know Azoff has had a rough time these past two weeks, but letting Live Nation control the show with Rapino in charge, especially with Live Nation's unrestrained habit in service charges and "add on" fees is going to spell doom for an already beleaguered industry that's already suffering in leaner economic times.  I don't want to see government get involved in business, but I hope there is opposition to this and people stop and see what's happening. (although I don't understand how they're not competitors, since they DO run ticketing services, even though LN's is specific to their venues.)

  2. kennyk09 wrote:

    11:57 AM, Feb 09, 2009

    What happened to the good ole days when Pearl Jam fought these criminals known as Ticketmaster?  Why do some shows have outrageous fees while others do not?  They are using the same computer system so why does ticketmaster rip us off?  Oh yeah! It's because they are scumbags.

  3. monet2u wrote:

    09:36 AM, Feb 09, 2009

    I opppose this merger!!!! I will be voicing my thoughts to the President as well.