Internal War Over 360 Deals Could Splinter Live Nation

June 12, 2008 11:15 AM ET

Rumors of a civil war at concert giant Live Nation are reaching a fever pitch as differing ideologies among two of the company's top-ranking executives could splinter the industry giant. On one side of the conflict is Live Nation's chairman Michael Cohl, who is eager to sign another fifteen artists to all-encompassing 360 deals like the ones Jay-Z and Madonna got. Opposing him is chief executive Michael Rapino, who wants to wait and see how profitable the already-signed 360 deals are before offering any more. Tensions boiled between the two to the point that Cohl threatened to quit, but while those threats have calmed, the two have still not agreed on a future plan of action. Since enacting their 360 deals with Madonna's mega-contract, the company's stock has dropped 44%. In the event Cohl does leave Live Nation, he has threatened to take acts he signed to standard Live Nation deals, like U2 and the Rolling Stones, with him, even though his contract with the company would prevent him from competing against Live Nation for eight years. Reportedly, the next target of a 360 deal is Shakira.

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