Ticketing merger gets OK

Associated Press / December 23, 2009

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LOS ANGELES - Shares of concert promoter Live Nation Inc. and ticketing giant Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. rose yesterday after Britain’s antitrust body reversed a previous ruling and approved the companies’ merger.

Live Nation shares closed up 43 cents at $8.58 yesterday, while Ticketmaster shares rose 85 cents to close at $12.61.

The Competition Commission, which previously had raised objections to the combination of the California-based companies, said yesterday the merger would not significantly reduce competition in promoting and selling tickets for live music events.

The US Justice Department has not declared whether it will sanction the merger.

The commission previously said the merger could hurt Germany-based CTS Eventim AG, which had agreed to provide ticketing services for Live Nation’s music events in Britain.

But it said the extent of Eventim’s success in the UK “will be determined principally by its own efforts and abilities, and will not be affected significantly by the merger.’’