Los Angeles
– The U.S. Justice Department on Monday approved the proposed merger between
Ticketmaster (NASD:  TKTM) and concert promotion giant Live Nation (NYSE:  LYV). Under the terms, the company — which will be called Live Nation Entertainment — will divest Ticketmaster’s self-ticketing subsidiary, Paciolan, to Comcast-Spectator, and license its Ticketmaster Host technology to rival concert promoter AEG.

The deal also includes other undisclosed "terms that protect competitive conditions in ticketing and promotions."

The companies said 17 State Attorneys General also participated in the consent decree filed in federal court in D.C.

The combined company will be led by Michael Rapino as CEO and president of Live Nation Entertainment, while Irving Azoff will serve as executive chairman and CEO of Front Line, and Barry Diller will be chairman of Live Nation Entertainment.

CNBC reported earlier today that the Justice Department would approve the deal, citing
unnamed sources.

deal was originally announced in February 2009, and would be valued at around
$798 million today, Reuters noted.

The deal has drawn criticism from consumer
advocates, musicians and others who foresee a reduction in competition in the
live music industry, and the potential for higher ticket prices for consumers.

Justice Department has been conducting an antitrust review of the deal, which was
recently approved by U.K.
regulators; earlier this month, the shareholders of both companies also voted
overwhelmingly in favor of the merger.

The Wall Street Journal reported last
October that the Justice Dept. would seek "major concessions" from
the companies before approving any deal, while Reuters cited sources earlier
this month who said that the Justice Dept. "has had a litigation team
preparing the case for litigation for months."


Related Links:
(Silicon Alley Insider)
(DMW previous coverage)
(DMW previous coverage)