One big, happy, musical family

February 4, 2009

Hey, Madonna meet Miley Cyrus. Jay-Z, these are the Eagles. You all could be one big happy family. Sort of like the Brady Bunch.  Or the Partridge family!

Only, however, if merger talks talks between Ticketmaster Entertainment and Live Nation result in a deal — and if that deal isn’t blocked by regulators worried about too few power players in the ticket  

Here’s what we reported: A source briefed on the matter told Reuters that talks are at an advanced stage, but could still fall apart over issues such as management control.

 Another hurdle would be competition issues because such a merger would concentrate power in the music industry under one roof.

 One music label source said the deal will “face major antitrust issues from managers, record companies, ticketing companies and concert promoters to name a few — not to mention the Obama administration will be very tough on this stuff.”

The Wall Street Journal, which broke the story, also brought up the anti-trust question: Sticking points remain to any deal. Because a merger would concentrate so much power in the music industry under one company, it would require review by antitrust authorities.

The newspaper provides the following details: The combined company would be called Live Nation Ticketmaster; boards of both companies have yet to approve the all-stock merger; it is being described as a merger of equals, but terms have yet to be worked out; it is unclear which company is acquiring the other; it is unknown what titles would be taken by Ticketmaster chief Irving Azoff and Live Nation Chief Michael Rapino.

Stay tuned.

Keep an eye on:

  • Time Warner forecast a flat 2009 profit after posting quarterly results below Wall Street forecasts as it grapples with the impact of a worsening recession (Reuters)
  • Walt Disney reported a sharply lower-than-expected quarterly profit as the global downturn hurt its TV advertising, DVD sales and theme parks (Reuters)
  • Citigroup might have difficulty escaping its $400 million marketing deal with the New York Mets, but the bank could reduce its obligation by finding another company to assume the most important part of the contract: sponsoring the new baseball stadium (Reuters)

(Reuters photo of Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino)

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