Competition Commission rules against Ticketmaster and Live Nation merger

THE Competition Commission yesterday ruled against the planned merger of Ticketmaster Entertainment and Live Nation, saying it could lead to higher prices and less competition.<br /><br />The ticketing group and the world&rsquo;s largest concert promoter announced their merger plan earlier this year, but it has raised antitrust concerns on both sides of the Atlantic and is also being examined by the US Department of Justice.<br /><br />The Competition Commission said the union could damage the market for the sale of live music tickets and hurt an existing partner of Live Nation&rsquo;s, CTS Eventim, a new competitor in the British market.<br /><br />&ldquo;We believe that, if the merger proceeds, Live Nation will seek to limit its relationship with CTS, with the effect of putting CTS&rsquo;s future prospects in the UK in considerable doubt,&rdquo; the Commission&rsquo;s Christopher Clarke said.<br /><br />In response, Ticketmaster said it was committed to the merger and stressed that live music was now the driving force behind the music industry after piracy and changing business models damaged the business.