Live Nation/TM Merger Faces UK Roadblocks

The proposed Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger is facing opposition from the U.K.’s Competition Commission (CC). The organization made a provisional ruling against the merger and released a statement saying it could, “severely inhibit the entry of a major new competitor – CTS Eventim – into the U.K. ticketing market….This could lead to higher net prices (eg due to lower rebates to promoters and venues) and/or lower service quality and/or less innovation in the market than would otherwise be the case.”

CTS Eventim, a German company, already provides Live Nation with ticketing software and operations for several European companies and is moving into the U.K. and other markets through that partnership.

The CC listed some changes Live Nation and Ticketmaster could make to win its approval. A final CC report is expected by Nov. 24.

Live Nation and Ticket master have issued a joint statement.

“Live Nation and Ticketmaster respect the Competition Commission for its analysis of the merger and have cooperated, and will continue to cooperate, fully during this ongoing process,” said the statement. “Both our companies are committed to this merger and look forward to addressing any and all issues that the commission deems necessary, but we must be clear about the challenges of the music industry, which is at a decisive crossroad. The recording industry is a shell of its former self. Where the recording industry was once the economic engine for the music business, it is live entertainment that is now the future of the music industry…We firmly believe that our merger achieves an important and much needed public interest, and remain optimistic that it will ultimately be approved.”

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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