Live Nation and Ticketmaster merger approved

, Staff

Live Nation and Ticketmaster have been giving the green light to complete their merger after reaching a settlement with 17 states – including Massachusetts – that will reportedly force the companies to make significant changes to their merger, including divesting assets and licensing software in order to make the ticketing market more competitive. The settlement is still subject to court approval. Once approved, the entity will be called Live Nation Entertainment.

The settlement requires Ticketmaster to license its ticketing platform to Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) and to divest its entire Paciolan business to Comcast-Spectacor. Both moves are expected to help establish independent and economically viable competitors in the marketplace. Additionally, the settlement prohibits Live Nation and Ticketmaster from engaging in conduct that would impede effective competition. Specifically, the settlement forbids retaliation against venue owners who contract or consider contracting for primary ticketing services with the two companies’ competitors. 

“Our office became concerned that Live Nation and Ticketmaster would be the only option to get tickets to concerts when they announced their merger,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley in a press release. “We are pleased with today’s settlement, which should create a more competitive ticketing market. This increased competition should benefit both concert venues and the consumers who buy tickets to see events at those venues.”

“This is a good and exciting day for the music business, and we are close to finalizing the creation of a new company that will seek to transform the way artists distribute their content and fans can access that content,” Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation, said in statement. “We are confident that with this resolution the playing field is competitive and broader as a result of this transaction. We believe that this merger will now create a more diversified company with a great selling platform for artists and a stronger financial profile that will drive improved shareholder value over the long term.”

Earlier this month, stockholders in both companies overwhelmingly approved the merger.

 

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