Ticketcorner, Switzerland’s largest ticket operator, says its merger with StarTicket should be allowed as it expects global giant Ticketmaster to enter the country’s market later this year.

The Swiss Federal Competition Commission (Weko) in May ruled that a combined Ticketcorner and Starticket would constitute a monopoly by gaining an “increasingly dominant position” for ticket sales in Switzerland. The decision came after Ticketcorner, which is part-owned by CTS Eventim, and Switzerland’s second largest ticket operator, Starticket, a division of media conglomerate Tamedia, announced last year that they had reached an agreement over a merger.

Speaking to the NZZ am Sonntag website, Ticketcorner chief executive Andreas Angehrn said: “We expect Ticketmaster to become active in Switzerland in the second half of 2017. In the market, there are references which clearly point in this direction.

“Ticketmaster is a subsidiary of the world’s largest concert organiser, Live Nation. Recently, many great gigs were produced directly in Switzerland by Live Nation. Ticketmaster can also offer tickets for the very big shows from the very beginning. We will probably lose some of our sales during these concerts.”

Angehrn described Ticketcorner’s position in Switzerland as “clearly non-dominant”, claiming that it sells just under 10 million of the 100 million tickets sold each year.

In criticising Weko’s decision, he told NZZ am Sonntag: “We do not agree with the assessment of Weko. It has drawn too narrow borders in the market, and has ruled whole segments in such a way that we are subject to a market-dominant position there.”

Ticketmaster was unavailable for comment at time of publication.