CARLSBAD, Calif.--Ticketmaster CEO Irving Azoff portrayed his company on Wednesday as one that needs the merger with Live Nation to survive.
"Any of you guys can write a program to sell some tickets," he told the crowd at the D: All Things Digital conference here.
Conference co-host Kara Swisher took issue with his positioning. "Most people don't consider Ticketmaster a victim," Swisher said.
Azoff noted that more and more entities are getting into the ticketing business, forcing his company to diversify as well.
"It's the natural evolution of business," he said. "It's just a myth that there is not real competition."
He rejected the criticism of the proposed deal from Bruce Springsteen and others.
"I would say Bruce is uninformed," he said.
Asked about the deal's prospects of ultimately going through, he said: "We're very optimistic and enthusiastic that the merger will get done sometime between now and the second half of the year," he said.