The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have set dates for next week for hearings to look into the planned merger of Ticketmaster Entertainment...

The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have set dates for next week for hearings to look into the planned merger of Ticketmaster Entertainment and Live Nation.

On Tuesday, February 24, the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the matter, and on Thursday, February 26, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy has scheduled its own similar hearing. Officials have not yet disclosed the witness lists, but expect representatives of the two companies to participate. The Senate subcommittee is chaired by Sen. Herb Kohl, D-WI, and the House committee is chaired by Rep. Hank Johnson, D-GA.

The proposed merger is already being reviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, and has drawn considerable scrutiny from politicians, promoters, ticket brokers, financial analysts and artists since it was formally announced last week.

In addition, Ticketmaster shareholders have filed a class action lawsuit to block the merger on the grounds that they believe Ticketmaster’s worth has been undervalued.



“Any merger between two companies who would otherwise compete against each other raises significant antitrust concern when those companies already have significant market power,” Rep. Johnson said in a statement. “If the merger goes through, it would create the world’s largest concert promoter and seller of tickets to live entertainment events. I am concerned about the effect this merger will have on competition, and the impact it would have on ticket costs to the public.”

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-TX, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, also believes the proposed merger must be studied. “The proposed vertical merger between the nation’s premier concert promoter with the nation’s largest ticket provider presents novel and important issues that Congress and the Justice Department must consider carefully,” Smith said in a statement. “We have a responsibility to ensure that this merger does not result in higher prices and fewer choices for music fans across the nation.”

More TicketMaster/LiveNation merger news

Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger: Canadian officials look at TicketsNow 03/09/2009
Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger: NATB schedules meeting about the deal 03/04/2009
Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger: Live Nation reports 4Q loss 03/03/2009
Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger: Canadian AG investigates Ticketmaster 03/02/2009
Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger: National Association of Ticket Brokers irate 02/27/2009
Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger: Azoff would consider selling TicketsNow 02/26/2009
Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger: Azoff, Rapino and new speakers for House hearing 02/25/2009
Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger: Trouble with Leonard Cohen tickets on TicketsNow, and a third class action lawsuit 02/25/2009
Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger: Companies grilled by skeptical Senators 02/24/2009
Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger: Senate hearing to be webcast 02/24/2009
Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger: New Jersey AG settles investigation with Ticketmaster over Bruce Springsteen tickets 02/23/2009
Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger: Shareholder lawsuit details deal’s undervaluation 02/20/2009
Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger: Azoff, Rapino to testify at Senate hearing 02/20/2009
Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger: Dates set for congressional hearings 02/18/2009
Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger: Ticketmaster shareholders sue to block the proposed deal 02/17/2009
Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger: Law firm launches investigation into TicketsNow 02/16/2009
Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger: Live Nation expects strong 4th Quarter 02/13/2009
Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger: major shareholder may oppose the deal 02/13/2009
Ticketmaster faces second class action lawsuit in Canada 02/12/2009
Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger: stocks take a beating 02/12/2009
Visa fires back at Ticketmaster for ‘glitch’ statement 02/11/2009
U.S. Justice Department launches review of Live Nation, Ticketmaster merger 02/11/2009
LiveStub CEO Michael Hershfield discusses the Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger 02/11/2009
Ticketmaster and Live Nation claim now was the best time to merge 02/10/2009
Live Nation and Ticketmaster Entertainment agree to unprecedented merger 02/10/2009
Ticketmaster, Live Nation merger expected within a day 02/09/2009
Ticketmaster, TicketsNow face $500 million class action suit in Canada 02/09/2009
Connecticut AG wants review of proposed Ticketmaster, Live Nation merger 02/06/2009
Opposition mounts against proposed merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation 02/05/2009
Ticketmaster apologizes to Bruce Springsteen and his fans over ticket mix-up 02/05/2009
Bruce Springsteen rips Ticketmaster over tickets and proposed Live Nation merger 02/04/2009
TicketNetwork CEO Don Vaccaro speaks with Fox Business about Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger 02/04/2009
Live Nation and Ticketmaster Entertainment talk merger 02/04/2009
Cheap tickets with no service fees at TicketClub.com

By Alfred Branch Jr.