The relationship between Live Nation and Ticketmaster seems to be over; apparently opening the door for the world's largest concert venue operator and promoter to launch its own ticketing operation.
Several news agencies reported Thursday that a new deal between the two industry leaders is "doubtful," according to an internal memo from Ticketmaster.
"We believe we've taken every reasonable step possible to facilitate a renewal, but they seem intent on a direction for their business that leaves us no viable way to work together," the memo said.
The current deal allows West Hollywood-based Ticketmaster to sell tickets for Beverly Hills-based Live Nation's 160 venues, which accounts for about 26,000 annual events. That deal ends next year and a separate deal between Ticketmaster and House of Blues, which Live Nation acquired last summer, ends in 2009.
Live Nation accounts for as much as 20 percent of Ticketmaster's domestic business which is about $100 million. Live Nation reportedly may be interested in developing its own ticket selling service. It has never denied any interest in doing so.
This comes two weeks after Live Nation reported solid second-quarter earnings, posting a 2 percent hike in profit bolstered by a 34 percent jump in sales, while Ticketmaster reported a 5 percent decline in domestic ticket sales.
Ticketmaster is owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp, which is controlled by billionaire Barry Diller.
Shares in Live Nation were up 52 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $20.76 in morning trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.
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