– Shares of Ticketmaster (NASD: TKTM) and Live Nation (NYSE: LYV) rose Wednesday after a report by
TheDeal.com cited unnamed sources as saying the Justice Department would
approve the proposed merger — although "antitrust sources" told
Reuters that the report was "inaccurate," and that the Justice Dept.
has been preparing to challenge the deal in court. TheDeal.com’s report
indicated that the Justice Dept. would approve the deal "with conditions,"
and that lawyers in the antitrust division "were ‘unenthused’ about
pursuing the potential vertical combination threats" posed by the merger
of the ticketing and concert promotion giants.
Shares of both companies were up as much as 8% on Wednesday on the news.
Meanwhile, sources told Reuters
that "the DOJ has had a litigation team preparing the case for litigation
for months," adding, "we have the impression that efforts to settle
have fallen through."
British antitrust regulators approved the proposed
merger last month.