U.S. Department of Justice requires licensing, divestment and behavioral remedies in Ticketmaster/Live Nation

On 25 January 2010 the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it, along with 17 state Attorney Generals, filed a proposed settlement in the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. that would allow the merger of Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. with Live Nation Inc. to proceed.

In order to overcome the competition concerns raised by the merger, Ticketmaster is, first, required to license its ticketing software and divest ticketing assets to two companies in order to allow them to compete with Ticketmaster. Second, Ticketmaster has agreed not to retaliate against venue owners who choose to use another company’s ticketing or promotional services. Third, the settlement prohibits Ticketmaster from using its clients’ ticketing data in its other functions and requires Ticketmaster to give to its clients their ticketing data when a client switches to another ticketing service.

The Department considers that absent the remedies, the merger would have substantially lessened competition for primary ticketing in the United States and resulted in higher prices and reduced innovation. [Juha Vesala]