Live Nation and Ticketmaster Set to Merge

Live Nation and Ticketmaster Set to Merge
Concert giants Live Nation  and Ticketmaster are apparently set to merge. According to the Wall Street Journal, the two companies are close to sealing a deal that find them under one roof and effectively creating what would be the world's biggest concert promoter, ticketing service and artist-management company.

While the boards of both companies have yet to approve the merger, talks to form what would be called Live Nation Ticketmaster are apparently in the late stages. And since no cash would exchange hands in this all-stock merger, a finalized deal could be announced as soon as next week.

Strangely enough, Live Nation recently launched the company's own ticketing service to replace their past contract with Ticketmaster. However, since the two left each other's side, Live Nation has seen its stock fall to under $5 and Ticketmaster has went from a high of $27 per share to the big low of $3.33. For fans, the move hasn't exactly been beneficial either, with concertgoers seeing no drop in convenience fees and many experiencing major hiccups with both ticketing services in the past few weeks. In fact, a New Jersey congressman today (February 4) demanded a federal investigation after Bruce Springsteen fans were unable to buy tickets from Ticketmaster's website and were instead led to more expensive tickets from the company's new subsidiary, TicketsNow.

If this merger is to go through, though, Tickermaster and Live Nation will need to get around potential anti-trust charges, the Wall Street Journal reports. After all, Ticketmaster has repeatedly been accused of holding a monopoly over ticket sales (remember Pearl Jam anyone?). Also, Wired quotes a Reuters source who says record labels and managers, as well as smaller ticketing companies and concert promoters, are likely to oppose the deal, as is President Barack Obama.

If Live Nation Ticketmaster becomes a reality, the live music behemoth would control more than 200 artists, including U2, Nickelback and Jay-Z, as well as have even more power over venues, tickets and, of course, those beloved service changes.