Competition Law360 Quotes Partner Richard E. Donovan on Potential Ticketmaster-Live Nation Merger
February 9, 2009
Partner Richard E. Donovan was quoted in a Competition Law360 article, "Merger May Not Be Easy For Ticketmaster, Live Nation." The article focused on the proposed merger between Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. and Live Nation Inc. Ticketmaster is the world's leading live entertainment ticketing and marketing company, and Live Nation is the largest producer of live concerts in the world. The article discussed how the merger "will likely face intense scrutiny from federal regulators as the possible first major test of the Obama administration's antitrust enforcement." In particular, Mr. Donovan was quoted regarding Bruce Springsteen's comments on the merger, as well as the Department of Justice's interest in the case because of its previous "monopoly investigation" of Ticketmaster in the late 1990s.

"Richard E. Donovan, co-chairman of the antitrust practice at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, pointed out that if the DOJ's previous investigation was too old and involved 'stale information,' the FTC might have a better claim to a possible probe because of the consumer-protection issues at stake in the proposed merger, in addition to the antitrust concerns.

"Assuming whichever agency took the reigns made a second request for information — something Donovan said had a 'fair likelihood' of happening — the case could serve as a first test of the new administration's approach to merger enforcement.

"'It could be the so-called test case because there is direct horizontal overlap, and it's an area where consumers are very interested,' Donovan said. 'This is something that many people are directly affected by. It might be one of the first tests that people look to see if [the administration] take[s] a stronger position.'"