Anyone who reads this weeks media reports on the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger might think it’s all doom and gloom. One might think the merger is not going to happen. However, this just means we are getting to the fun part.
The United Kingdom’s version of anti-trust regulators released their preliminary report on the merger yesterday. Of course it was critical. Of course it currently shows Live Nation/Tickmaster controlling everything. The U.S. report is due shortly and they will most likely mirror the U.K. report. Why is anyone surprised by this?
During the Senate hearings on the merger, all the assets of both companies were exposed. Discussion of what would happen with these assets already came up. Everyone was in agreement that both companies would have to give stuff up. We discussed all this months ago. Have you noticed that nothing has been given up yet? Now that the Government reports are coming out, you will see what happens with some of these assets. This is when the real negotiation begins. For example, I bet Tickmaster will sell or spin off TicketsNow and Live Nation will dump its ticketing system. Both companies are not stupid. As much as they would like to, they know they can’t completely control the promoting/ticketing world.
The U.K. commission left the door wide open. In their statement they said they would consider possible “remedies”. This is where the meat and potatoes come in.
I still believe this merger is going to happen. In the weeks ahead you will see changes announced. Live Nation and Ticketmaster properties spun off or sold. Both companies have been waiting for this moment. They have the “remedies” waiting in the wings.
Have a great weekend!