The concert promoter's giant merger with Ticketmaster has passed antitrust scrutiny, save for a few minor conditions (selling off a unit that sells tickets to college sporting events, and licensing its ticketing software to rival concert promoter AEG Live). Both concert promoter Live Nation and ticket service Ticketmaster (both locally based) said fine. This sets the stage for a fundamental change in the concert business. A single company will now manage artists, book them into its own arenas, and sell tickets to the concerts. From the WSJ:
The decision was being closely watched by business as a barometer of how the Obama Justice Department will treat proposed mergers. Since her appointment, [Christine Varney, the head of the Justice Department's antitrust division] has warned that businesses should expect much harsher antitrust scrutiny of mergers than was the case under the administration of George W. Bush. But its decision to approve the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation --albeit with significant conditions--is likely to prompt criticism from some quarters that the Justice Department's bark is worse than its bite.