December 5, 2007 Alfred Branch Jr.
Liberty Media, which already owns a significant share of Ticketmaster’s parent company IAC/InterActiveCorp, could be looking to buy the ticketing giant, according to Businessweek.
Last month, IAC announced it was spinning off Ticketmaster as part of a corporate shake up to allow IAC to concentrate on its core internet businesses. The divestiture is expected to be completed next year, a scant few months before the end of the contractual relationship between Ticketmaster and Live Nation.
Published reports say Liberty Media wants to add Ticketmaster to its multimedia investments, which includes large stakes in QVC, Starz Entertainment, News Corp. and Expedia.com, among others. Liberty Media owns about 24 percent of IAC, but said it has a 55 percent voting interest in IAC matters.
According to Businessweek, Gregory Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media, told an audience this week at the UBS Global Media & Communications Conference that Liberty may go after Ticketmaster, in part because Liberty and IAC have not come to an agreement over merging QVC and IAC’s Home Shopping Network.
Acquiring Ticketmaster would vault Liberty Media to the head of the class of the ticketing industry, and potentially give Liberty a gold chip complement to DirecTV, which the company is trying to purchase.