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Antitrust Settlement Over Ticketmaster And Live Nation Merger

Harrisburg, PA — An antitrust settlement has been reached regarding the merger of Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. and Live Nation Inc., to preserve competition for concert ticket sales and address other anti-competitive concerns raised by the combination of these two companies.

“The goal of this agreement is to maintain competition in the ticket marketplace for the benefit of concert fans throughout Pennsylvania and across the country,” said Attorney General Tom Corbett.

Corbett noted that Ticketmaster is the largest primary ticketing company in the United States, while Live Nation is the largest concert promoter in the country. The February 2009 merger proposal involving the two companies triggered a review by the Attorney General’s Antitrust Section, along with other states and the U.S. Department of Justice, to evaluate the impact on ticket pricing, availability, competition and other related concerns.

Corbett said the antitrust settlement will require Ticketmaster to sell or license its ticket-selling programs in order to enable two new, independent and economically viable competitors to enter the market for ticket sales at major concert venues across the United States.

Additionally, Corbett said the agreement prohibits Ticketmaster and Live Nation from engaging in conduct that would impede competition, including retaliation against the owners of concert venues that might use other businesses for primary ticket sales. They are also prohibited from abusing their position in the ticket sales market to impede competition by concert promoters or artist managers.

Corbett said the settlement also prohibits Ticketmaster from requiring the use of its ticket sales service if concert venues want to promote shows or artists that are managed by Ticketmaster or Live Nation, or requiring venues to take certain shows or artists in order to be able to obtain Ticketmaster’s services for ticket sales.

Finally, the agreement requires Ticketmaster and Live Nation to provide formal notice, at least 30 days in advance, before acquiring any assets or interest in any business that provides primary ticket sales services in the United States.

Corbett said the antitrust investigation involved Pennsylvania, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin, along with the U.S. Department of Justice.

The complaint and settlement agreement were filed today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The Pennsylvania portion of the case was handled by Chief Deputy Attorney General James A. Donahue III, along with Deputy Attorneys General Jennifer A. Thomson, Joseph S. Betsko and Norman W. Marden, of the Attorney General’s Antitrust Section.

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