U.S. antitrust enforcers opened an investigation of the proposed merger of Live Nation Inc. and Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc., the largest companies in live music.

The Justice Department "is committed to vigorous enforcement of the merger antitrust laws and will conduct a thorough investigation" of the combination, said spokeswoman Gina Talamona Wednesday.

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

Lawmakers, fans, state officials and Bruce Springsteen have raised concerns the deal will consolidate too much control of the live entertainment business. Ticketmaster owns the world's largest ticket-selling network and the biggest artist-management firm. Live Nation is the largest concert promoter, owns the most venues and has exclusive deals with artists like Madonna, U2 and Jay-Z.

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