Paul G Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp is swapping his 47.5% interest in ticket-seller Ticketmaster Group Inc for an 11% stake in HSN Inc. HSN, the owner of Home Shopping Network, will hand over stock worth $210m to Allen in return for his Ticketmaster shares, the Wall Street Journal says. The article goes on to speculate that HSN will seek control of Ticketmaster by purchasing a further 2.6% holding on the open market, bringing its interest up to the magic 50.1% level. But for now the two companies will remain separate publicly traded entities; the deal is said to pre-date recent squabbles between Ticketmaster and Microsoft (CI No 3,151), with Allen stuck in the middle as a representative on both boards.
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