WORLD: The UK Competition Commission has given its blessing to a deal that would create the world’s “premiere” live entertainment company. Although both promoter Live Nation and ticket sales company Ticketmaster are based in the US, the latter’s long-term majority stake of the British live music market means the merger requires UK clearance.
The UK Competition Commission had initially raised concerns about the implications of the merger for Ticketmaster rival CTS Eventim. However, the regulator says that it has now received evidence that shows the merger would not prevent CTS Eventim from forging a presence in the UK market.
Chris Edmonds (pictured), managing director of Ticketmaster UK, commented: “we are very pleased with the Competition Commission’s decision to clear the merger. Today’s clearance is an important milestone in the regulatory review process, and brings the companies a step closer to creating a new kind of live entertainment business.”
Paul Latham, chief operating officer and head of UK operations for Live Nation, added: “During the course of this merger process, we have listened to our fans, artists and other parties. And we have reassured them that by combining the resources of these two companies, we will deliver a better live music experience for the entire sector.”
But whilst the decision by the UK regulator does represent one sizeable obstacle overcome, the proposed merger still requires approval in other territories, including the US and Canada.
The determination of Live Nation to explore different models of operation has become increasingly apparent in recent years, not least with regard to its so-called ‘360 deals’ with artists like Madonna and Jay-Z, whereby the company secures a long-term stake in all kinds of revenue streams.