AEG Weighing Ticket Systems

AEG is reportedly in talks with possible ticket partners to replace Ticketmaster Entertainment should the company’s proposed merger with Live Nation gain approval.

AEG is comparing systems from Veritix, and others, as well as floating the development of a $30 million ticket platform of its own, sources reportedly close to the matter told Bloomberg.

Antitrust attorney Andre Barlow said that in reviewing the merger, U.S. regulators are considering how AEG could respond to the potential union of its ticketing provider and rival company Live Nation.

“The government talks to any potential entrant regarding their future plans,” Barlow said. “What DOJ would want to know is how difficult would it be for AEG to create a ticketing service.”

One issue with a merged LN-TM entity is whether competing promoters could feel secure using TM as a neutral ticket seller when LN could ostensibly have access to competitors’ data.

It’s a concern that has apparently crossed AEG’s mind, as the company issued a warning earlier this year that it may cancel its ticket deal early should TM merge with LN. AEG’s contract with TM reportedly expires in July 2012.

AEG and TM nearly made a similar deal of their own last year, when Ticketmaster was said to be in talks to purchase 50 percent of AEG. However, discussions eventually fizzled out.

For now, AEG is waiting to see whether the Justice Department will approve the merger, sources told Bloomberg.

Justice officials have reportedly asked Live Nation and Ticketmaster to offer solutions to resolve the concerns of the antitrust division, and a decision will hinge upon those proposals.

Representatives from AEG and Veritix didn’t respond to requests for comment.