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The Merger Goes To Washington

03:47 PM Friday 2/20/09 |   |

The U.S. Department of Justice antitrust division launches its first hearing in the proposed merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster Feb. 24, and among the first witnesses out of the chute are scheduled to be Ticketmaster's Irving Azoff, Live Nation's Michael Rapino and Jam Productions’ Jerry Mickelsen.

The subcommittee on antitrust, competition policy and consumer rights, chaired by Herb Kohl, D-Wis., will meet at 2:30 p.m. EST in Dirksen Senate Office Room 226 under the heading “The Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger: What Does it Mean for Consumers and the Future of the Concert Business?”

Witnesses listed on the committee’s Web site are Azoff, Rapino, Mickelson and David A. Balto, a senior fellow with the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C.

It could be a lively session, considering the subcommitte’s membership includes Sen. Chuck Schumer, who has called for an investigation into Ticketmaster’s handling of the recent Bruce Springsteen ticket onsale, and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, who has recorded music in his own right and has been an outspoken critic of music piracy.

The hearing will be webcast via the committee’s page.

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