Senate holds hearings on Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger
Yesterday, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary had a hearing before the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights on “The Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger: What Does it Mean for Consumers and the Future of the Concert Business?
The witnesses were:
Irving Azoff, Chief Executive Officer
Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc.
Michael Rapino, President and Chief Executive Officer
Live Nation, Inc.
Jerry Mickelson, Chairman and Executive Vice President
David A. Balto, Senior Fellow
Center for American Progress Action Fund
Seth Hurwitz, Co-Owner
I.M.P. Productions and 9:30 Club
While some Senators were critical of the merger, there is also a well financed lobbying campaign to support the merger.
Who in DC is working for the merger? From the NYPost:
The newly created Live Nation Entertainment has enlisted Hilary Rosen, former Recording Industry Association of America president, to help the company map out a plan of action, and has already tapped lobbying firm Public Strategies to begin reaching out to members of Congress.
Rosen, who runs the Washington office of Live Nation’s outside public relations agency The Brunswick Group, was a major lobbying force for the RIAA on Capitol Hill and has close relationships with many Democratic members of Congress.
“She knows all the players in Washington and knows how things work,” said a source familiar with the situation.
Rosen will provide advice and intelligence on how to manage the regulatory process and use her relationships with congressional members for leverage, sources said.
Meanwhile, Public Strategies was hired by Live Nation to do the actual lobbying for the deal. Ticketmaster has enlisted former Congressman Mel Levine to do its bidding on Capitol Hill, sources said.