Live Nation Inc. and Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. said late Monday that they closed their merger after reaching agreements with U.S. and Canadian anti-trust regulators.
Live Nation Entertainment Inc., the combined companies’ post-merger name, would be under a 10-year court order prohibiting it from retaliating against venues that choose to sign ticket-selling contracts with competitors.
The agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Canadian Commissioner of Competition includes other conditions to promote competition in ticketing and promotions. Beverly Hills’ Live Nation and West Hollywood’s Ticketmaster have agreed to divest Ticketmaster's Paciolan self-ticketing subsidiary to Comcast-Spectacor. They also will license some ticketing technology to Los Angeles’ Anschutz Entertainment Group Inc., according to a proposed final judgment filed in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.
Live Nation last February announced plans to buy Ticketmaster Entertainment for about $400 million in stock. The merged companies would have combined annual revenue of $5 billion.
"We believe that this merger will now create a more diversified company with a great selling platform for artists and a stronger financial profile that will drive improved shareholder value over the long term," Live Nation Chief Executive Michael Rapino said in a press release.
Attorney General Jerry Brown, who joined 16 state attorney generals in endorsing the deal negotiated with the DOJ, said the changes create "a more competitive market" for concert tickets by allowing two new primary ticketing competitors.
"Ticketmaster and Live Nation together dominate the market for concert tickets," Brown said in press release. "With this merger agreement, we're taking an important step to ensure a more competitive market for concert-ticket sales."
After the midday announcement, Ticketmaster shares closed up $2, or nearly 16 percent, to $15.40 on the Nasdaq. Live Nation shares rose $1.35, or nearly 15 percent, to $10.51 on the New York Stock Exchange.
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