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LN-Gaiety, MCD merger provisionally cleared

The UK’s competition watchdog has provisionally cleared the merger between Live Nation-Gaiety Holdings and MCD Productions, after Ireland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) cleared the deal in July.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the deal is not expected to lessen competition in the promotion of live events above 1,000-capacity.

The CMA announced the launch of its merger inquiry in May, but it was in July that it announced an in-depth investigation into LN-Gaiety’s proposed merger with MCD Productions after rejecting undertakings offered by Live Nation and Ticketmaster.

Live Nation’s proposed takeover of the Irish promoter was referred to an in-depth Phase 2 investigation by the watchdog after it raised concerns about the deal.

Prior to the investigation announcement, Ireland’s CCPC cleared the merger following assurances that the promoter would not force event organisers to use its Ticketmaster service.

The CMA states: “The CMA has provisionally found that the anticipated acquisition by LN-Gaiety of MCD may not be expected to result in an SLC [significant lessening of competition] as a result of vertical effects in the promotion of Live Music Events in Ireland, including in Northern Ireland, through the foreclosure of MCD’s rivals from ticketing services.”

The body has invited any parties involved to make representations on the provisional findings by no later than November 28.