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-- Live Nation has signaled to competitor AEG it is willing to sell some of its music venues to facilitate a Department of Justice approval of its proposed merger with Ticketmaster. according to the New York Post. (Actually, the Post's article says Live Nation is willing to sell "its venues." Whether that is intended to mean some or all venues is not clear. It would be surprising, though, if Live Nation were willing to sell all its venues.) While a source close to the situation made it clear that "Live Nation has no deal to sell venues to AEG," such an approach by Live Nation would indicate it has doubts the merger will get regulatory approval without concessions. One has to wonder what the sale of venues would do to ease the Department of Justice's concerns about competition in ticketing. Up to this point, all indications are that regulators are most concerned with higher ticket prices due to lack of competition in the ticketing marketplace. Would adequate competition be ensured if Ticketmaster-Live Nation had the ticketing rights to a few fewer venues? (New York Post)

-- According to Forrester, 33% of U.S. online adults can be considered "conversationalists," or people who update their status on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. (Conversationalists are 56% female, by the way.) That may seem like a lot of social chatter, but 70% of U.S. online adults are "spectators," meaning they read blogs and social network updates of other people. Creators, those people who publish blogs or web pages and upload user-created audio and video, account for 24% of online users. Nearly one in five has not yet touched an online social network. (The numbers overlap. A person can exhibit the behavior of both a conversationalist and a spectator.) What does this mean for marketers? Many people like to share and have online conversations. Just as music companies are wise to offer recorded music in the formats people desire, they should also facilitate online conversations of their products. If people are going to create and converse online, why should it not be about your product? (IP Carrier)