On January 25, 2010, the Competition Bureau announced that it
had entered into a consent agreement with Ticketmaster
Entertainment, Inc. and Live Nation, Inc. to resolve competition
concerns identified by the Bureau with respect to their proposed
merger. The Bureau's announcement coincided with a similar
announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division,
with whom the Bureau cooperated closely in its review.
Ticketmaster, a worldwide provider of ticketing services, and Live
Nation, a promoter of live events globally, announced their
intention to merge on February 10, 2009. Following a detailed
review of the transaction, the Bureau concluded that the proposed
merger would likely prevent competition substantially in respect of
primary ticketing services for large live entertainment events in
Canada. To address the Bureau's concerns and move forward with
the proposed merger, Ticketmaster and Live Nation agreed to
implement certain divestitures and comply with certain behavioural
commitments, including principally:
Divestiture of Ticketmaster's subsidiary, Paciolan, Inc.,
which provides ticketing services to venues or other organizations,
to a buyer approved by the Commissioner of Competition. Pending
completion of the divestiture, the parties must hold Paciolan
separate and apart from their other operations.
Licensing of Ticketmaster's primary ticketing software to
Anschutz Entertainment Group, Inc. (AEG), a competing promoter of
live events, and provision of private label ticketing services to
AEG for a period of no more than 5 years. At AEG's option, AEG
may acquire a non-exclusive, perpetual, fully paid-up licence to
the Ticketmaster software used by Ticketmaster to sell primary
tickets in Canada.
Non-retaliation, including anti-competitive bundling, in
respect of any venue owner in Canada that chooses to use another
company's primary ticketing services or another company's
live event promotional services, for a period of 10 years after
closing of the merger.
The divestitures and behavioural commitments in the consent
agreement are substantially similar to those contained in the
proposed U.S. Final Judgment addressing competition concerns in the
United States. The consent agreement has been registered with, and
is enforceable as an order of, the Competition Tribunal.
Ticketmaster was represented in Canada by Stikeman Elliott
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