MLB Acquires Tickets.com

Major League Baseball announced Tuesday that its online unit has reached
an agreement to buy Tickets.com in a deal worth
approximately $66 million.

The Internet division of MLB, MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), said the move
was spurred by increased attendance at both the major and minor league
levels of the sport and the need to make ticket purchases convenient for
fans.

“With over 73 million fans attending major league baseball games and
another 40 million attending minor league games, fan attendance and their
enjoyment of the games will always be a principal focus of this industry,”
Robert A. DuPuy, president and chief operating officer of Major League
Baseball, said in a statement.

MLBAM said the offer included the purchase of all outstanding shares of
common stock of Tickets.com, at $1.10 per share.

“As we progress in our ticketing efforts, it is essential for this
industry to set
the standard for our fans, providing them with the best experience not just
on the field, but getting there as well,” DuPuy said.

On Monday, MLBAM received a $125 million line of credit from Bank of
America and JPMorgan in order to secure the deal, Major League Baseball
said.

Both sides expect the deal to close in March.

Ron Bension, CEO of Tickets.com, said the acquisition
represented a major success for his company’s shareholders, clients and
employees.

“Joining Tickets.com’s proven technology offerings and expertise with
MLBAM positions the company for growth and category leadership,” he said in
a statement.

The California-based Tickets.com said its directors had appointed a
special committee to review the process and approve the agreement and
merger. The company said nearly 25 percent of its $70 million annual
revenues come from the online sale of baseball tickets. The remainder of
business comes from concerts and other sports and events.

MLBAM was created in 2000 to manage the league’s official Web site and
the sites of individual teams.

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