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Justice Dept. Probes SFX

September 03, 1998|MARLA MATZER

The Justice Department is reviewing antitrust concerns related to SFX Entertainment's consolidation of the live concert business, sources said Wednesday.

Investigators have focused on the proposed $105-million purchase of Cellar Door International, the latest in a string of deals by New York-based SFX. Richard Greenfield, an analyst with Goldman, Sachs & Co., said when the deal was announced last month that the Cellar Door purchase would give SFX "the last major concert promoter they didn't already control."

SFX has become the top producer of live music, theater and sporting events in the U.S. through acquisitions such as that of L.A.-based Avalon Attractions (which controls Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre). Sources say SFX is now in discussions to purchase L.A.'s Nederlander Organization, whose venues include Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim and L.A.'s Greek Theatre.

SFX officials did not return calls. Jack Boyle, chairman of Florida-based Cellar Door, declined to comment.

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