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UK Regulator Won't Investigate AEG's Block Booking Policy

LONDON (CelebrityAccess) — The United Kingdom's anti-trust regulator the Competition and Market Authority appears to have handed AEG a win after the CMA declined to investigate AEG's block booking policy.

According to Billboard, CMA officials contacted AEG and Live Nation late last week to inform them that they would not be investigating AEG's policy of requiring artists to commit to performing at other AEG venues in exchange for key arena bookings.

The CMA told the two companies that the dispute originated in Los Angeles, and thus should be resolved in California, Billboard reported.

The decision by the CMA is the latest turn in an ongoing dispute between AEG, and Azoff MSG Entertainment where the two companies accused each other of requiring artists to commit to performing at a specific venue in a competitive market in exchange for bookings at key venues in other markets, such as the Staples Center in Los Angeles in exchange for an play at the O2 in London, or The Forum in Los Angeles for a Madison Square Garden booking.

Billboard reported in August that Live Nation chairman Denis Desmond filed a complaint with Competition and Market Authority alleging that AEG's block booking policy violated anti-trust and competition laws.

Insiders at Live Nation told Billboard that they are evaluating their next move, which could include an appeal to Federal or state regulators in the U.S., a civil lawsuit, or challenging the legality of the pairing contract.