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CMA clears LN-Gaiety and MCD merger

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has confirmed its approval of the merger between Live Nation-Gaiety Holdings and MCD Productions.

The UK’s competition watchdog provisionally cleared the deal last month, but the transaction has now been rubber stamped by the regulator.

LN-Gaiety owns and operates live music venues and festivals in the UK and Ireland, while MCD is primarily a promoter of live music events across Ireland.

“After completing an initial Phase 1 investigation, the CMA was concerned that the deal could damage competition in live music promotion in Northern Ireland, as Live Nation could hinder MCD’s rival promoters’ ability to sell tickets through its subsidiary Ticketmaster. This led to the deal being referred for an in-depth Phase 2 probe,” the CMA said.

“The CMA then announced in November that it had provisionally found the deal should be cleared. Having consulted on this provisional finding, the CMA has now confirmed the merger has been cleared.

“The CMA found that the merger is not likely to raise competition concerns as Live Nation would not be expected to have the incentive to harm rival music promoters by making it harder for them to sell tickets through Ticketmaster.”

Ireland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) cleared the deal in July following assurances that the promoter would not force event organisers to use its Ticketmaster service, and the CMA acknowledged last month that the deal is not expected to harm competition in the promotion of live events that attract crowds of more than 1,000.

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.

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