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Regulator sniffs around Live Nation, Ticketmaster merger

Watchdog releases the hounds

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The UK’s competition watchdog is continuing to probe a possible merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation, to determine whether such a deal would stifle competition in the live music market.

The Competition Commission confirmed in a statement yesterday that the inquiry group tasked with investigating the proposed merger, led by chairman Christopher Clarke, had yet to identify any “competition concerns”.

It added that a report outlining the CC’s findings would be published by 24 November, and said interested parties had until 7 August to respond in writing to the issues statement.

In February this year, ticket flogger Ticketmaster and stadium gig promoter Live Nation formed what some observers inside the music industry viewed as an unholy alliance.

At the start of 2009, Bruce ‘The Boss’ Springsteen put the boot in about any possible merger between the two companies, declaring that such a move would “make the current ticket situation even worse for the fans.” ®

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