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UK watchdog launches Viagogo-StubHub merger inquiry

The UK’s competition watchdog has officially launched a merger inquiry into the proposed deal between resale giants Viagogo and StubHub.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has given notice to the two firms some four months after it began considering whether the deal should be allowed to proceed.

The deadline for the CMA to announce its decision whether to refer the merger for a broader Phase 2 investigation is June 11, 2020.

A Viagogo spokesperson told TheTicketingBusiness: “We welcome the formal start of the phase 1 review by the CMA. We will continue to work closely with them and demonstrate the benefits of the merger for consumers.”

StubHub’s parent company eBay completed the sale of the secondary ticketing provider to Viagogo for $4.05bn in cash in February, around the same time the CMA ordered a halt to any integration between the companies until it completes its investigation into the merger.

The CMA announced the investigation into the deal and invitation to comment in December and is looking into whether the deal will result in a “substantial lessening of competition within the market,” by looking at the provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002.

In March, the CMA directed Viagogo to appoint a monitoring trustee in relation to the completed acquisition of StubHub.

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