Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s dominant live entertainment and ticketing company, could hear as early as next week whether it will be asked for concessions in the UK as part of conditions the merged Ticketmaster and Live Nation might need to make in order to continue doing business in Great Britain.
Earlier in the year, the company learned that the UK Competition Commission (CC) would reconsider its initial approval of the merger, and it would issue its new decision before May 11.
Last fall, almost nine months after the two companies announced their intent to merge, the CC preliminarily ruled against the deal, but subsequently flip-flopped and approved it, after the two persuaded the commission that their combined stake in the UK live entertainment ticketing business was less than 50 percent.
In the U.S., the Department of Justice approved the merger but exacted concessions from the two to mitigate the combined company’s dominance. Among the concessions were forcing the two to sell its Paciolan primary ticketing business to Comcast-Spectacor, and license Ticketmaster’s ticketing software to promoter AEG.
The CC, however, decided to reconsider its approval following concerns expressed by CTS Eventim, which believes its business is being adversely affected by the merger. Earlier this month, CTS filed a challenge to the merger with the International Chamber of Commerce.
In the meantime, Live Nation Entertainment has scheduled its first quarter earnings conference call for Monday afternoon, May 10, and the company is showing signs that it is doing well.
Its stock, which trades under the symbol LYV, continues to reach or exceed its 52-week highs, and was selling at just under $16 per share in late afternoon trading today, April 28. In addition, the company announced plans to expand into the Australian live entertainment market, and following recent layoffs, the company’s streamlined operations is beginning to take shape.