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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:52 PM
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Justice Dept. Clears Ticketmaster Deal
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Justice Dept. Clears Ticketmaster Deal

Ending a yearlong investigation, the Justice Department on Monday announced its conditions for accepting a proposed merger between Ticketmaster Entertainment and Live Nation, a deal that could significantly remake the live entertainment business by combining touring, management and ticketing into one company.

The decision, widely seen as a litmus test for the Obama administrations attitude toward antitrust regulation, was greeted with cautious optimism by consumer groups who feared that the combination of the two music giants would stifle competition and lead to higher ticket prices.

Under the Justice Departments conditions, Ticketmaster must divest itself of one of its ticketing divisions and also license its software to a competitor. In addition, for 10 years the combined company will be subject to what the Justice Department called tough antiretaliation provisions to prevent abuse of its power over concert tours, artist management, ticketing and theaters.

After a rigorous investigation, we concluded that the transaction, as originally proposed, was anticompetitive, Christine A. Varney, assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Departments antitrust division, said in a news conference. We were prepared to litigate this case, and I told the parties that. The required divestitures and behavioral prohibitions alleviate our concerns.
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