February 20, 2009 By Alfred Branch Jr.
Irving Azoff , CEO of Ticketmaster Entertainment, and Michael Rapino, President and CEO of Live Nation, have been called to testify Tuesday, February 24, before the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee in relation to the proposed merger between their two companies.
Tuesday’s hearing is the first of two Congressional hearings scheduled for next week, the second being the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy hearing scheduled for Thursday, February 26.
In addition to Azoff and Rapino, Jerry Mickelson, Chairman and Executive Vice President of concert promotions giant JAM Productions, has also been called to testify, as well as David A. Balto, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.
Currently, no ticket brokers, venue operators or recording artists have been named as possible speakers, but it is unknown if the final list of speakers has been set. The list of the speakers for the House subcommittee meeting has not yet been released.
The proposed $2.5 billion merger has drawn intense scrutiny from politicians, financial analysts and all sides of the ticketing and live entertainment sectors, and the deal is currently the subject of a class action lawsuit from Ticketmaster shareholders to block it because they believe Ticketmaster is being undervalued.