Feds Tear Into Ticketmaster Merger
Antitrust officials weigh concessions for Live Nation deal to pass
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2009 1:41 AM CDT
The Ticketmaster-Live Nation deal will cause "vertical integration," in which a single company controls several links in the chain between product and consumer.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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(Newser) – Concerned Justice Department are considering blocking a deal that would create a music industry behemoth—unless major concessions are made. Antitrust officials are worried about the effect the proposed Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger would have on consumer cost and may require the companies to make major concessions, insiders tell the Wall Street Journal. Opponents of the deal warn it could create "a virtual monopoly in the ticketing industry."

Justice Department officials are also worried about the effect the deal could have on musicians, who would be forced to deal with a single entity handling everything from venues to T-shirt sales when booking concert tours. Ticketmaster may be required to offload its Front Line artist-management for the deal to go through, sources say. Analysts believe the Ticketmaster decision will signal how tough a line the Obama administration will take on antitrust concerns.