COMPETITION
Live events industry

Live Nation and Ticketmaster Entertainment have announced that they have reached agreements with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and with the Canadian Commissioner of Competition, clearing the way for the merger of the companies.  The company will be renamed Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. and will combine Live Nation’s concert promotions expertise with Ticketmaster’s ticketing and artist management businesses.

Under the terms of the proposed final judgment filed today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the companies have agreed to divest Ticketmaster’s self-ticketing subsidiary, Paciolan, to Comcast-Spectacor and to license the Ticketmaster Host technology to Anschutz Entertainment Group, Inc. (“AEG”), as well as to other terms that protect competitive conditions in ticketing and promotions. Seventeen State Attorney Generals also participated in the matter and have joined in the U.S. consent decree. The parties’ consent agreement with the Canadian Commissioner of Competition is on substantially equivalent terms.

Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation, said, “This is a good and exciting day for the music business, and we are close to finalizing the creation of a new company that will seek to transform the way artists distribute their content and fans can access that content.  The Department of Justice was thorough and aggressive in their analysis and their remedies, and we are confident that with this resolution the playing field is competitive and broader as a result of this transaction.  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.” Irving Azoff, CEO of Ticketmaster, said, “We appreciate the Department of Justice’s effort.  Their resolution is a great win for fans.  The entertainment industry needs innovation and we are ready to deliver.  I’m truly excited that as this new company goes forward, we will be able to create more choices for family entertainment, sports, artists, teams and other rights holders.”

Each issued and outstanding share of Ticketmaster common stock will be cancelled and converted into the right to receive a number of shares of Live Nation common stock such that Ticketmaster stockholders will receive approximately 50.01% of the voting power of the combined company.  Subject to final confirmation, the companies expect each share of Ticketmaster common stock to be cancelled and converted into the right to receive 1.474 shares of Live Nation common stock in connection with the merger and for Live Nation to issue approximately 84,613,661 shares of Live Nation common stock to Ticketmaster stockholders in the aggregate.  The combined company will be led by Michael Rapino as CEO and President of Live Nation Entertainment and Irving Azoff as Executive Chairman of Live Nation Entertainment and CEO of Front Line.  Barry Diller will serve as Chairman of the Board of Live Nation Entertainment. The Board will consist of 14 directors, seven from each company. Investors in Live Nation and Tickemaster had overwhelmingly voted in favour of the merger with Live Nation telling reporters that the owners of over 99% of the company’s stock were in favour of the merger with Ticketmaster reporting that 98% of their shareholders were in favour.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2513450520100125