During an investor conference call regarding their pending merger, Ticketmaster chairman Barry Diller, Ticketmaster Entertainment CEO Irving Azoff, and Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino provided several insightful comments.

Diller opened the call by saying he had been "trying, and mostly consistently failing, to put these companies together for many years now." But, he added that the current economic environment would seem favorable to a merger, given the companies believe they have $40 million in efficiencies. Additionally, the "unique synchronicity of the two men who will lead this company" will be a driver to make it happen.

"This merger will create a pipeline for all rights holders to reach their consumers, whether it is a team an artist or a record company," Azoff said. "It is time our business delivered forward-thinking marketing solutions and we intend to do just that. This merger is in line with our vision, and accelerates our ability to execute our strategy to the benefit of performers, fans and investors."

Diller pointed out that artists set ticket prices, and when pressed on the issue regarding the manager's role in this equation, Azoff said, "The role of the manager is as an advisor to the artist. All of our artists also have agents, business managers and lawyers, so it's a collaborative effort. I know of no major artist that doesn't make the final decision and take an active participation in their ticket prices."

Given that Live Nation Ticketing is contract with CTS Eventim to provide ticketing infrastructer, Rapino confirmed that the arrangement would need to be addressed. "We are looking to honor and work through our CTS relationship and we'll be talking to [CTS executive chairman Klaus-Peter Schulenberg] on how we best maximize and honor that contract to service the customers."

Regarding his take on multi-rights deals such as Live Nation has entered into with acts like Madonna and U2, Azoff says "I think you look at each artist and their needs and try to structure programs for them that would help the achieve that. For certain artists I think we would look at all-around deals in the future, but really on a case by case basis."

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