February 4, 2009 / 3:57 PM / 9 years ago

Ticketmaster, Live Nation rise on merger talks

<p>Fans raise their hands during a concert in northern Spain, August 13, 2005.Vincent West</p>

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shares of Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc TKTM.O and Live Nation Inc (LYV.N) rallied on Wednesday on reports that the music companies might merge as soon as this week.

Shares of Live Nation, the world's biggest concert promoter, rose as much as 18 percent on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of Ticketmaster, the leading ticketing and artist-management company, rose about 16 percent on the Nasdaq stock market.

If the deal happens, it could create a music industry powerhouse with a combined market value of more than $700 million, a source briefed on the talks told Reuters on Tuesday.

The company would have ties to more than 200 artists such as the Eagles, Miley Cyrus, Christina Aguilera, Madonna and Jay-Z. It also would help Live Nation with its efforts to expand beyond concert promotion.

A deal could face antitrust scrutiny because it would amass a large amount of music industry power in one company.

The company would be called Live Nation Ticketmaster, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news on its website on Tuesday evening.

Live Nation shares were up 56 cents, or 11 percent, to $5.55. Ticketmaster shares were up 97 cents, or 16 percent, at $7.11.

Reporting by Robert MacMillan; Editing by Derek Caney

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