Page last updated at 06:56 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

US regulator clears music merger

Madonna is one of the artists signed to Live Nation

The merger of ticket agent Ticketmaster and concert promoter Live Nation has been approved by the US Department of Justice.

The newly formed company will be known as Live Nation Entertainment Inc.

But Ticketmaster must license its ticketing software to a competitor, and to sell a subsidiary that handles tens of millions of tickets a year.

It is hoped this will create competition in the worlds of ticketing contracts and concert promotion work.

'Selling platform'

In the UK, the merger had been approved by the Competition Commission in December, reversing a previous opinion that the deal could lead to music fans paying more for tickets to see live performances.

Meanwhile in the US, consumer groups, ticket resellers and some politicians have been worried that the new firm will control too much of the concert-going experience.

The new firm will promote concerts, and sell tickets, beer and parking, as well as putting out albums and managing an artist roster that includes U2, Madonna, Jay-Z and the Eagles.

Michael Rapino, chief executive of Live Nation and the newly merged company, said the coming together would create "a more diversified company with a great selling platform for artists and a stronger financial profile that will drive improved shareholder value over the long term".

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