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Schumer Grills Azoff At Hearings On Live Nation Merger

Well, it doesn’t look like Chuck Schumer is going to be taking any long vacations with Irving Azoff this year.

In his opening remarks during Senate hearings on the Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger merger , Schumer “made no secret of my opposition to this merger,” saying it represented “monopolistic behavior plain and simple.” Speaking to Azoff, CEO of Ticketmaster Entertainment, Schumer mentioned a recent incident in which Bruce Springsteen fans were redirected from the Ticketmaster site to the more expensive reseller Tickets Now — even though concert tickets were still available on Ticketmaster. Implying that Ticketmaster wasn’t being honest when it said the incident was due to a tech glitch, Schumer referred to it as a “so-called malfunction.”

One interesting factoid that emerged during the hearings is that if the merger goes through, Live Nation (NYSE: LYV) would gain access to all sorts of proprietary information from competitors that also use Ticketmaster. Most of the competitors use the company for everything from selling tickets to marketing shows.

Azoff also declared at one point that if he were Ticketmaster CEO in the beginning of 2008 when it bought Tickets Now, he never would have acquired the company. Hmm. Wonder how that makes IAC (NSDQ: IACI) Chairman Barry Diller feel?