Ticketmaster Live Nation merger ruled out

A proposed merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation has been ruled as anti-competitive by the Competition Commission (CC).

The provisional ruling raised concerns over the impact of the merger between the ticketing firm and the concert promoter on the live music and entertainment industry.

The CC says in a statement that the deal would “limit the development of competition in the market for live music ticket retailing”.   

Both companies are based in the US and the merger is also being investigated by the US competition authorities.

The industry watchdog says that the main concern over the deal was a prior agreement between Live Nation and European ticketing agent CTS Eventim.

If Live Nation and Ticketmaster were to join, the CC claims it would potentially impede the entrance of CTS to the UK market and negatively affect competition, leading to higher prices, poor service and less innovation.

CC deputy chairman and chairman of the inquiry group, Christopher Clarke says: “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.”

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