Live Nation and Gaiety Holdings Limited’s proposed purchase of the Ireland-based live music promoter MCD Productions Unlimited Company has been provisionally cleared by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), finding that the merger does not raise competition concerns.
Originally, the CMA was worried that the deal could potentially damage competition in Northern Ireland, noting that “there are only a few rival music promoters in the region and they mainly rely on [Live Nation owned] Ticketmaster to sell tickets to their events.” The CMA was also concerned that Live Nation’s purchase would stop MCD’s rival promoters selling tickets through Ticketmaster, and launched their first investigation in 2018.
The CMA issued a statement regarding their in-depth Phase 2 investigation today, which began at the start of 2019, writing that an independent group of panel members has “provisionally” found that the merge will not raise competition concerns and Live Nation “would not be expected to have the incentive to harm rival music promoters by making it harder for them to sell tickets through Ticketmaster.”
Now that the second round of investigations are complete, the CMA is asking for views on the provisional findings by the end of the month and will access all evidence before a final decision is determined. The Irish competition authority CCPC has already approved the acquisition; CMA’s final report deadline is January 8, 2020.
For 14 years, Denis Desmond’s MCD has been under the Live Nation – Gaiety umbrella. A Live Nation spokesperson told IQ Mag last year that the joint venture just seems like the “logical next step” with the Irish promoter.