February 11, 2009 21:12

US Justice Department investigates Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger

Antitrust accusations abound

US Justice Department investigates Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger
The US justice department announced today (February 11) that it is launching an investigation into the proposed merger of Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc and Live Nation Inc.

The massive ticket seller and concert promoter announced yesterday (February 10) that they intend to join forces to sell tickets, promote and book concerts and manage artists. The merger would create an entertainment behemoth that would generate an estimated revenue of $6 billion a year.

This has prompted an investigation to ensure that the new company would not be violating anti-trust laws and creating a monopoly. Federal antitrust lawyers are "committed to vigorous enforcement of the merger antitrust laws and will conduct a thorough investigation of the proposed Ticketmaster/Live Nation transaction," a Justice Department spokeswoman told the Associated Press.

Ticketmaster recently came under fire by Bruce Springsteen when the company allegedly directed Springsteen fans from its primary website to its resale site called TicketsNow, which marks us prices hundreds of dollars over face value. Springsteen criticised this practise with an open letter to fans on his website, as previously reported. Ticketmaster has also repeatedly come under fire for charging substantial service fees on its tickets.

The Justice Department investigation is expected to take several months.

--By our Los Angeles staff.
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