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SBD/Issue 100/Facilities & Venues
Live Nation, Ticketmaster To Form Live Nation Entertainment
Published February 11, 2009
FACING OPPOSITION: In Newark, Peggy McGlone in a front-page story notes the merger "drew immediate criticism yesterday from lawmakers and others who fear the two will create an illegal entertainment monopoly." U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) "sharply condemned the proposed agreement, calling it a 'major disappointment for music fans all around the world.'" Pascrell: "Any merger that would consolidate so many aspects of the concert business under one roof must be carefully scrutinized for anti-trust violations." Pascrell "warned the merger will drive up concert prices, a charge Ticketmaster [Chair & CEO] Barry Diller denied." Diller said, "Ticketmaster does not set prices, Live Nation does not set ticket prices. Artists set prices" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 2/11). Miami-based Tickets of America President & CEO Michael Lipman said that the deal was "'bad for the public' and possibly bad for venues not operated by Live Nation" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 2/11). In DC, David Montgomery writes of the merger, "What's in it for ticket buyers is far from clear. The era of the dreaded 'convenience charge' might be ending -- but there's no guarantee of lower ticket prices" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/11).