The U.S. Justice Department approved Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc.'s merger with Live Nation Inc., while imposing conditions on their plan to create a new music- industry power.Crazy.
Under terms accepted by both companies, Ticketmaster must license its software to AEG Live, its largest customer. Ticketmaster also must sell its Paciolan unit to a Comcast Corp. joint venture or another suitable buyer. The new company also will be banned for 10 years from retaliating against any concert site that signs a ticket-sales contract with a competitor.
The $889 million merger "will change the landscape of the live entertainment business," said Allen Grubman, a New York- based music industry attorney whose clients include Madonna, Elton John and U2. "Artists are focusing tremendously on live performance because that's an area where there is still a lot of money to be made." [Business Week]