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"They are trying to pretty up the deal as much as possible for the regulators."
—-a N.Y. Post source

LIVE NATION-TICKETMASTER GETS CLOSER

Concert Promoter Willing to Sell AEG Live Venues in a Bid to Get Merger Passed
Live Nation has turned to its rival AEG Live in an attempt to get the Dept. of Justice to OK its merger with Ticketmaster, according to several news reports.

The concert promoter has offered to sell a portion of their venues at “favorable” terms to AEG to get DOJ approval as well as elicit the support of its chief competitor, which has been vocal in opposition to the pairing.

The merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster was originally proposed a year ago in February, and is currently under review. Sources claim the DOJ is also looking for concessions from Ticketmaster to approve the arrangement. Ticketmaster has previously announced it would sell its secondary market website TicketsNow.com to make it happen.

One source told the N.Y. Post: "The fact that they are out there talking with others about deals suggests that they are nervous about getting approval. They are trying to pretty up the deal as much as possible for the regulators."

No specific Live Nation venues were mentioned as being part of the offer, but the promoter, the largest venue owner in the U.S., has a sizeable inventory of theatres, clubs and sheds. Last year, Live Nation sold what it described as “non-core assets,” including several theatrical holdings in both the U.S. and the U.K. in order to concentrate on the music industry after their much-ballyhooed 360-degree deals with Jay-Z, Madonna and Nickelback. The LN-TM deal would, of course, also bring Irving Azoff’s Front Line Management stable of artists into the fold, including The Eagles, Neil Diamond and Christina Aguilera, among others.

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