Live Nation and Ticketmaster may have breathed a deep sigh of relief when the Department of Justice finally approved its merger on Monday, but in accepting a number of significant mandates from the DOJ, Live Nation Entertainment is expected to face some formidable new challenges, from within the company and from competitors.

By selling off Paciolan to Comcast-Spectacor and licensing Ticketmaster technology to AEG, Live Nation Entertainment in effect creates two ready-to-go competitors to what was Ticketmaster. And, in ditching the Ticketmaster name (by their own doing), the new company vacates what is arguably the most solidly-branded name in the live entertainment business, albeit one that carries huge baggage in regards to its place in the consumer mindset.

While a deal has yet to be consummated to buy Paciolan, Philadelphia-based Comcast-Spectacor, which includes among its holdings the hugely successful facility management firm Global Comcast, seems committed to the purchase. Comcast-Spectacor has entered into a non-binding letter of intent to acquire Paciolan from Ticketmaster. As a result of this proposed deal, Comcast-Spectacor will own Paciolan's technology, the intellectual property of Paciolan, and its approximately 200 accounts. Ticketmaster acquired Paciolan in 2007.

"This is a very exciting opportunity for Comcast-Spectacor to extend our ability to be the ultimate sports and entertainment provider, managing public assembly facilities (through Global Spectrum), catering and providing food and beverage sales (through Ovations Food Services), selling naming rights and sponsorships (through Front Row Marketing Services), and now, the further ability to sell millions of tickets to events worldwide," says Comcast-Spectacor president Peter Luukko in a statement.

For AEG, the company now has an opportunity to brand and utilize (and leverage) an up-and-running, proven ticketing system for five years while it considers how to proceed with its ticketing in the long term. That may include building its own ticketing system, an option which the company has made noise about ever since the merger proposal first surfaced nearly a year ago. Sources say the AEG/Ticketmaster licensing agreement is a scaling deal that gets more expensive every year. So even though these are touted as "favorable terms" today, that situation might be less favorable down the road.

Even so, AEG has time to figure out its next move in the critical ticketing space, and contractual leeway to do so. AEG has obtained complete flexibility to migrate some or all of its ticketing business to one or more alternative ticketing platforms at any time following the merger. AEG CEO Tim Leiweke says AEG intends to "aggressively explore such alternatives, including ticketing companies both in the U.S. and in other markets with whom AEG is already engaged in on-going discussions."

The concessions announced by the DOJ yesterday also seem to be enough to appease vocal opponents to the merger, namely independent promoters. Speaking for them, Washington D.C. independent promoter Seth Hurwitz, chairman of I.M.P., had this to says about the DOJ's approval of the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger: "Though I've not had the opportunity to review it yet fully, it seems the Department of Justice has dictated in the consent decree that Live Nation and Ticketmaster can't engage in anti-competitive behavior on any level going forward -- and if that's true, it'll be a better world for everyone." That's pretty mellow talk from the usually acerbic Hurwitz, who publicly spoke up against the deal at hearings in D.C. last winter and has been a vocal opponent ever since.

In the meantime, Live Nation Entertainment, gets to be the vertically-integrated, marketing-oriented, direct-to-fan powerhouse it says it aims to be, with all of the crucial artist relationships that Front Line management and its 200 acts bring to bear. The management/venue/promoter chain, powered by the hugely important ticketing connection with the fan, is intact. Now it's time to see how this will be machine will be engaged, how the touted "efficiencies" come to bear, what happens to the Live Nation Ticketing operation launched just a year ago, and how artists and fans react to this new world order.