OFT refers Live Nation and Ticketmaster merger to Competition Commission

LONDON - The £1.5bn merger between concert giants Live Nation and Ticketmaster is in doubt after the Office of Fair Trading has asked for a investigation.

The OFT has reffered the planned tie-up to the Competition Commission amid fears that the merger could reduce competition and impact ticker prices for gig-goers.

Ali Nikpay, senior director at OFT, said: 'The proposed merger risks undermining this by potentially prompting the exit of what would likely have been a third large player from the UK, or at least significantly stunting its effectiveness. It creates a realistic prospect that the merger will deny those attending live music events the benefits of more competition in the distribution of tickets, which could include lower overall prices.'

Ticketmaster operates as a ticketing agenct in the UK, whilst Live Nation is a promoter and venue operator. Live Nation has used Ticketmaster as its principal ticketing agent, but this agreement is due to expire in December 2009.

The Competiton Commission are expected to report by 24 November 2009.

 

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