Live Nation May Sell Venues To AEG

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Live Nation has signaled that they may be willing to sell a portion of their venues at favorable terms to their chief rival, AEG Live in a bid to get the Justice Department to sign off on their proposed merger with Ticketmaster.

While the sale of Live Nation's venues to their chief rival may seem like an unusual move, it may serve two purposes; offering a concession to help convince federal regulators at the Justice Department to approve the merger and to induce AEG to back off on their heretofore vocal opposition of the deal.

The merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster was originally proposed in February of 2009 and is currently under review by DoJ. Sources close to the merger have indicated that DoJ may be seeking concessions from both Live Nation and Ticketmaster before they sign off on the pact and this may be Live Nation's offer. Ticketmaster has indicated that they may be willing to divest off their secondary ticket market website.

"The fact that they are out there talking with others about deals suggests that they are nervous about getting approval," a source close to the negotiations told the New York Post "They are trying to pretty up the deal as much as possible for the regulators."

The New York Post did not list any specific Live Nation venues as being under for sale, but Live Nation is the largest venue owner in the U.S. with a sizeable inventory of theatres, clubs and amphitheatres around the United States. In 2009, Live Nation sold what it described as non-core assets, including sizeable theatrical units in both the U.S. and the U.K. in order to narrow their focus to the music industry.

Live Nation and Ticketmaster declined to comment.

Celebrity Access Media Wire

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