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CMA joins Irish watchdog in MCD, LN-Gaiety probe

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced it will join the Irish competition regulator in investigating the acquisition of concert promoter MCD Productions by LN-Gaiety Holdings, a Live Nation subsidiary.

MCD, Ireland’s most prominent live events promoter, is the owner of Gaiety, which formed a joint venture with the live entertainment giant to create the London-based LN-Gaiety in 2004.

In recent years, several of Live Nation’s acquisitions in the UK have been through the LN-Gaiety joint venture. LN-Gaiety’s UK portfolio includes stakes in Festival Republic and Academy Music Group.

MCD, which was founded in 1980 by Denis Desmond and Eamonn McCann, has worked with acts such as U2, Robbie Williams and The Rolling Stones. Desmond now heads up Live Nation’s UK and Ireland operations.

Ireland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is already investigating how the new deal with MCD becoming a part of the LN-Gaiety JV would impact Ireland’s live music sector.

It said: “The Competition And Markets Authority is considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect … may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.”

The CMA is asking interested stakeholders to weigh in on the possible impact of the deal and has until July 11 to decide whether there are adequate concerns to prompt a deeper investigation.

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