The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) ordered ticket resale websites Viagogo and StubHub to pause its merger until it probes the $4.1 billion integration.
According to an enforcement order published today, the CMA has banned both firms from taking further action which might “lead to the integration of the StubHub business with the Viagogo business” and believe that the pair were merging before a final ruling was put into place. The CMA noted that StubHub and Viagogo must now report every two weeks, starting February 21, to prove that they are still operating as separate entities, ceasing any activities which would “impair the ability of the StubHub business or the Viagogo business to compete independently.”
Under this new order, the CMA said that both StubHub and Viagogo must continue to operate customer and supplier lists separately and should not integrate technology or transfer key staff.
“The requirement to hold separate the two businesses of Viagogo and StubHub is an expected part of the merger process and we fully acknowledge the importance of CMA’s examination into the deal,” Viagogo said in a statement to City A.M.
StubHub issued a similar response, noting that “we do not expect any impact to the planned close of StubHub and Viagogo transaction.”
“We are on track as previously communicated to complete the sale by the end of the first quarter of 2020,” StubHub said.
Last November, Viagogo announced the purchase of StubHub for $4.05 billion in cash from eBay. The CMA is still investigating the merger, as it fears the integration would lead to Viagogo controlling too much of the secondary market.