Shares of Ticketmaster Entertainment and Live Nation jumped Wednesday following reports that the companies might announce a merger as soon as this week, creating the world's biggest concert promoter and a major force in artist management.

The Wall Street Journal reported late Tuesday that the combined company would be called Live Nation Ticketmaster. It would be able to manage everything from recorded music to ticket sales and tour sponsorship. Live Nation, the world's biggest concert promoter, has expanded into artist management and this year planned to launch a ticketing business to compete with leading ticketing agency Ticketmaster, which also has a significant artist-management arm.

The boards of both companies have yet to approve the all-stock merger, sources told the Journal.

Live Nation is based in Beverly Hills. Ticketmaster is nearby in West Hollywood.

The deal, which likely would face antitrust scrutiny, could create a music industry powerhouse with a combined market value of more than $700 million, a source briefed on the negotiations told Reuters. The company would have ties to more than 200 artists, including the Eagles, Miley Cyrus, Christina Aguilera, Madonna and Jay-Z.

In morning trading, Live Nation shares were up 9 percent to $5.45 on the New York Stock Exchange, while Ticketmaster rose 15 percent to $7.04 on the Nasdaq.


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