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UK Competition Commission Clears Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger December 28, 2009

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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The Competition Commission (CC) has decided to clear the proposed merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation in the UK.

Both Ticketmaster and Live Nation operate in the live music and entertainment industry in the UK. Ticketmaster is a ticketing agent, whilst Live Nation is a live music promoter and venue operator. Prior to the proposed merger, Live Nation signed an agreement with Ticketmaster’s largest global competitor, CTS Eventim (Eventim), headquartered in Germany, consequent to which Eventim is planning to enter the UK for the first time. Under the agreement, Eventim will provide Live Nation with ticketing software and services, enabling Live Nation to sell its own tickets. Eventim will also be allocated a proportion of Live Nation’s tickets to sell to consumers.

Although Live Nation’s incentives will change as a result of the merger, the merged entity will have little scope to affect Eventim as, under the agreement, Eventim will continue to receive a fee for every Live Nation ticket sold and Live Nation will continue to be obliged to allocate a minimum number of tickets to Eventim.

CC Deputy Chairman and Chairman of the Inquiry Group, Christopher Clarke said: Our analysis has focused on the effects of the merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation on the ability of their competitors and potential competitors to compete as live music ticket retailers, promoters and venue operators in the UK.

Rather, we found that Live Nation always saw its agreement with Eventim as a way for Live Nation to become the principal retailer of its own tickets, through the use of Eventim’s managed ticketing services. We also looked at how the combination of Ticketmaster and Live Nation might affect other ticketing agents, and the promoters and venues which put on and host live music events.

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