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UKs Competition Commission (CC) Rules Against Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger–Claims Merger Will Limit Competition October 15, 2009

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.

The Competition Commission (CC) has provisionally ruled that the proposed merger of Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc and Live Nation, Inc will limit the development of competition in the market for live music ticket retailing.

Prior to the announcement of the merger, Live Nation had signed an agreement with CTS to provide ticketing services for its live music events and venues in the UK. The CC believes that, if the merger were to proceed, Live Nation would have the incentive to impede CTS’s entry into the UK ticketing market, in particular by minimizing the supply of its tickets to CTS, and thereby frustrate CTS from becoming an additional effective competitor to Ticketmaster. Both companies operate in the live music and entertainment industry in the UK. Ticketmaster is a ticketing agent, whilst Live Nation is a promoter and venue operator for live music and theatrical events. The CC has not found any adverse effects on competition affecting other ticketing agents, promoters and venue operators arising from the merger.

CC Deputy Chairman and Chairman of the Inquiry Group, Christopher Clarke said: CTS’s agreement with Live Nation opened up the prospect of a major new competitor entering the market for live music ticket retailing in the UK. As the second-largest ticket agent in the world after Ticketmaster, with considerable experience and expertise in other countries, CTS’s entry would have increased competition in ticket retailing to the benefit of customers—whether fans, promoters or venue owners.

The merger with Ticketmaster means that Live Nation will have every incentive to inhibit a significant potential rival from entering the UK market and, given the significance to CTS of its agreement with Live Nation in deciding to enter the UK market, we believe that Live Nation would be able to do so. We also looked at how the combination of Live Nation, as a promoter and venue operator, with Ticketmaster might adversely affect ticketing agents other than CTS, promoters and venue owners.


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