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UK Competition Regulators Approve Live Nation's Isle Of Wight Deal

LONDON (CelebrityAccess) — The United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority has cleared the path for Live Nation's acquisition of John Giddings' Isle of Wight Festival.

Following a 'phase 1' investigation, the Authority determined that despite concerns raised by competitors, the merger did not raise concerns about a lessening of competition in the festival market.

"The evidence collected indicates that the Isle of Wight festival and Live Nation’s existing festivals were not competing particularly closely for customers. After the merger, people will continue to be able to choose between festivals owned by Live Nation and a variety of competing festivals. The fact that festival goers also choose between going to a festival and other activities will also ensure that Live Nation continues to face sufficient competition," the Authority wrote.

Live Nation announced plans to acquire the the Isle Of Wight festival in March when they partnered with John Giddings, who founded the modern iteration of the fest, and his Solo Music Agency.

Other stakeholders such as tge Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) did not share the Authorities findings. In August, the AIF called on the British government to widen its inquiry into a broader review of Live Nation's primacy in the UK live music sector. According to research conducted by the AIF, Live Nation either owns or majority-owns a 23% share of UK festival events by capacity – including Download, V Festival, Reading/Leeds, Parklife, Creamfields, Lovebox, Wilderness and more.

On this basis, Live Nation are already almost three times bigger than their closest competitor (Global), who control an 8% share of the UK festival market according to the data, AIF said.