Regulators could block the proposed deal that would bring the two ticketing giants together, but AP is reporting that Live Nation and Ticketmaster want to merge.
From the AP:
Under the deal announced Tuesday, Ticketmaster shareholders would receive 1.384 shares of Live Nation stock for each share of Ticketmaster they hold. Ticketmaster shareholders would hold 50.01 percent of the new company, while Live Nation shareholders would have 49.99 percent. Live Nation Chief Executive Michael Rapino would be the new company's CEO.
The companies estimated the value of the combined business at $2.5 billion and said the deal would help them save about $40 million annually. Assuming it gets approval by antitrust authorities, the companies hope to complete the merger in the second half of the year.
Live Nation and Ticketmaster argue that together they could better withstand the recession, sell more tickets and improve service to fans by bringing together their expertise in promotions and ticketing.
However, the merger comes just as Ticketmaster is under fire for recently redirecting people buying tickets to a Bruce Springsteen show from its regular Web site to its reselling subsidiary, TicketsNow. That site had more expensive seats above face value, even though face-value tickets were still available. New Jersey's attorney general launched an investigation, and a class-action lawsuit in Ontario claims Ticketmaster made a similar up-selling move in November for a Smashing Pumpkins concert.