Rapper Jay-Z
Rapper Jay-Z - 
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Renita Jablonski: The nation's biggest concert promoter will put its first-quarter earnings on stage this afternoon. Live Nation is still waiting to find out if regulators will approve its proposed merger with Ticketmaster. Joel Rose has more.

Joel Rose: Live Nation called itself the future of the music industry.

Jay-Z: Came from the bottom of the bottom, to the top of the pops.

The company spent hundreds of millions of dollars to sign Jay-Z, Madonna and others to so-called "360 degree" deals that gave Live Nation a share of all the artist's revenue streams, including merchandise.

Bob Lefsetz: The problem was these were vast sums. That paradigm is completely dead.

Longtime industry watcher Bob Lefsetz says Live Nation is still trying to get a bigger share of artists' revenues. But its approach has changed. Now, Live Nation is trying to merge with Ticketmaster, which happens to own Front Line Management, a company that represents hundreds of top touring artists.

Lefsetz: Suddenly it will be easier to make deals with acts, because they'll be part of the same company, where at present there's an adversarial relationship.

But the deal still faces serious anti-trust scrutiny from regulators in Washington and internationally.

I'm Joel Rose for Marketplace.