U.K. Approval Of Live Nation-Ticketmaster Merger Provokes U.S. Ire
December 24, 2009 at 7:51 AM (PT)
Consumer groups are already expressing outrage that U.K. regulators reversed an earlier preliminary decision and approved a merger between TICKETMASTER and LIVE NATION. MARKETWATCH reports that "The Competition Commission said it would allow the two music-event vendors to combine in spite of earlier concerns that the deal would block CTS EVENTIM from entering the British market. Rather, CTS "will not be affected significantly by the merger," the commission said in a statement.
The NATIONAL CONSUMER LEAGUE quickly fired out its own statement, urging U.S, regulators to not be so lenient: "In response to the approval of the TICKETMASTER-LIVE NATION merger by British regulators, the public interest and live event industry members of the TICKETDISASTER.ORG COALITION today urged the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ) to consider the profound differences between TICKETMASTER’s and LIVE NATION’s dominance of the U.S. live event market and their market position in GREAT BRITAIN."
NATIONAL CONSUMERS LEAGUE Exec. Dir. SALLY GREENBERG added, "Today’s stunning reversal by the COMPETITION COMMISSION of their previous position opposing the TICKETMASTER-LIVE NATION merger represents, we believe, a flawed analysis of an inherently anti-consumer and anti-competitive merger,” said "LIVE NATION’s and TICKETMASTER’s market positions in BRITAIN differ significantly from their already monopolistic positions in the U.S. We urge DOJ regulators to stand firm and conduct a vigorous, independent analysis of the impact on American consumers of this deal."