StubHub’s acquisition by Viagogo will face additional scrutiny from the UK’s Competition and Market’s Authority, which announced that it will move to a “Phase 2” review of the $4 Billion transaction Thursday. The purchase, which was announced in November and completed in February, has been under “Phase 1” investigation by the regulating authority since April.
That investigation concluded that the merger between the two ticket resale giants “has resulted or may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition” earlier this month. According to the CMA, adjustments to their operations offered by the merging companies on June 18 did not constitute a “clear-cut solution to the competition concerns identified as arising from the Merger.”
The decision by regulators means that StubHub will continue to operate in limbo as it has throughout much of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – no longer a part of longtime parent company eBay, but not yet cleared to fully integrate with its new parent company, helmed by co-founder Eric Baker.
“During this period, the StubHub and Viagogo brands and operations will continue to be held separate as agreed with the CMA,” a StubHub spokesperson said.
“We look forward to the day when the companies can combine to provide consumers wider access to their favorite events,” read another statement from the company provided to the Financial Times. “We remain committed to our belief that the combination of the two companies is a good move for customers worldwide.”
StubHub has struggled of late, as have most businesses tied to live events amid the ongoing halt to public gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic. Rumors of bankruptcy have swirled, and the company has had to lay off large segments of its California-based workforce as revenue ground to a halt in March. In May, then-CEO Sukhinder Singh Cassidy announced her departure from the company, leaving Jill Krimmel in charge on an interim basis while the company awaits regulatory approval on the merger.