Ticketmaster-Live Nation Merger Gets UK Approval

live nation TMThe UK Competition Commission today (12/22) approved the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation, propelling the deal one another step closer to completion. Amid antitrust inquiries, the United States and Canada have yet to sign off on the merger. However, both companies remain optimistic there will be a successful outcome.

A statement from the U.K. Competition Commission said, “the merger will not result in a substantial lessening of competition in the market for live music ticket retailing or in any other market in the U.K., including live music promotion and live music venues.” UK clearance follows regulatory approval in Norway and Turkey.

Live Nation announced plans to buy Ticketmaster Entertainment for about $400 million in stock in February. This news came not long after Live Nation launched its own ticketing service, and signed multimillion dollar 360 deals with superstars including Jay-Z and Madonna.

Ticketmaster holds a majority stake in Front Line Management, which in turns has partnerships with several top Nashville managers, including Dale Morris & Associates (Kenny Chesney), DS Management (Alison Krauss), and Spalding Entertainment (Brooks & Dunn, Jason Aldean).

Opponents of the merger argue that Live Nation Ticketmaster would have a monopoly on the touring industry. They say the combined company would have control over a large share of the ticketing market, many of the country’s major venues, and would have ties to numerous superstar artists.

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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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