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Ticketmaster agrees to buy Net reseller

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Bloomberg News / January 16, 2008

NEW YORK - Ticketmaster, the largest US seller of sports and concert tickets, agreed to buy online reseller TicketsNow for $265 million to compete with eBay Inc.'s StubHub.

The sale should be completed by the end of the first quarter, West Hollywood, Calif.-based Ticketmaster, a unit of Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp, said yesterday.

The purchase of the reseller of sports and concert tickets comes a month after Ticketmaster's agreement with the National Football League to resell tickets over the Internet. The IAC unit wants to expand its TicketExchange operations to compete with StubHub, which eBay bought last February for $310 million.

"In secondary tickets, you have a new market that is developing and growing very rapidly," said Malindi Davies, an analyst with Oppenheimer & Co. in New York.

The transaction's price was provided by Ticketmaster spokeswoman Bonnie Poindexter.

IAC fell 57 cents to $23.83 in Nasdaq Stock Market Composite trading. The shares dropped 28 percent last year.

IAC plans to spin off Ticketmaster along with three other units by the middle of the year.

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