The U.S. Department of Justice has imposed major conditions upon Live Nation and Ticketmaster in approving the companies’
merger, moves that Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney said would have the effect of lowering ticket prices.
Shares in both companies jumped in trading Monday after reports surfaced earlier that the merger would be approved.
Varney said Ticketmaster would have to license its ticketing software to competitor AEG and sell its subsidiary Paciolan
to Comcast Spectacor. Paciolan sells tens of millions of tickets every year, she said.
The conditions would result
in two large, vertically integrated competitors—AEG and Comcast Spectacor—that would vie for ticketing contracts
with the merged entity of Live Nation Inc. and Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc.
The merged entity would also be
under a 10-year court order prohibiting it from retaliating against venues that choose to sign ticket-selling contracts with
Varney announced the merger conditions on Monday, saying the deal as proposed would have been "anticompetitive."
"It’s going to benefit competition and benefit consumers," she said. "Generally when you see robust
competition, you would expect to see prices coming down."
The companies had no immediate comment.
Shares in Ticketmaster rose $2.10, or nearly 16 percent, to $15.40 on Monday, while shares in Live Nation went up $1.35,
or 15 percent, to $10.51.