ENGLAND (CelebrityAccess) British government watchdog group the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has determined that the proposed takeover of MCD by LN-Gaiety, the Live Nation subsidy in Ireland, raises competition concerns in the music promotion industry.
LN-Gaiety Holdings, a joint venture between Live Nation and Gaiety Investments, announced its intentions to buy MCD Productions last August. Ireland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission announced July 9 that it had cleared the proposed acquisition after two, long investigations.
The CMA, however, is concerned the deal could result in less competition in Northern Ireland.
“There are only a few rival music promoters in the region and they mainly rely on Ticketmaster to sell tickets to their events,” the CMA said. “As Live Nation already owns Ticketmaster, the CMA is concerned that if it were to acquire MCD, it may be able to stop rival promoters selling tickets through that platform post-merger. This could result in less competition in promotion services to artists, leading to higher prices for concert goers, as well as a smaller variety of live music events to choose from.”
The CMA also considered other aspects of the businesses such as music festivals and access to music facilities.
“If the merging businesses are unable to address the CMA’s concerns, the deal will be referred for an in-depth Phase 2 investigation to be carried out by a group of independent CMA panel members,” the CMA said.
MCD is co-owned by Denis Desmond and his wife Caroline Downey, with Desmond the Live Nation UK and Ireland chairman since 2015. Live Nation called the merger the “logical next step” in the cozy relationship.