Rival Web sites merge operations

Online ticketing service Tickets.com Inc., and Advantix Inc. on Wednesday merged their operations, creating a significant rival to the Barry Diller-owned Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch Inc.

The Los Angeles-based companies plan to sell entertainment, sports and travel tickets online through their combined Tickets.com site (www.tickets.com).

Tickets.com features information on 37,000 venues and more than 200,000 events. Together with Advantix, the new service will offer event info, while giving consumers access to 100 million tickets through the Advantix system.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The new entity is expected to become the preferred international ticketing service for a number of Advantix’s 1,400 entertainment and sports clients, including the Oakland A’s, San Francisco 49ers, San Jose Sharks and performing arts centers such as Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles and New York’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

W. Thomas Gimple will remain prexy and chief executive officer. James A. Caccave will assume the role of prexy, Internet operations, and will join the board of directors of the new company.

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