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Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger approved
Written by Chris Johnson   
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 05:53
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Live Nation and Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc., which both have operations in St. Louis, finally cleared the last hurdle to their much-discussed merger Monday as they garnered approval from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Canadian Bureau of Competition, once several concessions are met.

Ticketmaster will have to license its Ticketmaster Host ticketing software to Los Angeles-based concert promoter and venue manager Anschutz Entertainment Group, which was one of the louder voices of protest during the discussion of the merger.

Media reports last week had Live Nation potentially selling several of its venues to AEG, but, that concession did not materialize.

Ticketmaster will also have to divest its self-ticketing subsidiary, Paciolan, to yet another promoter and manager, Comcast-Spectacor.

Finally, the new Live Nation Entertainment will be under a 10-year court order to not take any retaliatory steps against any venue that chooses to go with another ticketing company.

Once the licensing and divestiture measures are complete, the playing field will theoretically be more level, with a “big three” of the new Live Nation

Entertainment, AEG and Comcast-Spectacor vying to promote concerts and manage venues nationwide.

Seventeen attorneys general from around the country, including California’s Jerry Brown, worked with the DoJ to come up with the group of concessions.

Since the announcement of the proposed merger in February 2009, the two companies have been under the microscope.

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