LN-TM Investigation Rolls On

The U.K.’s Competition Commission has released a statement setting out the parameters of its investigation into the proposed Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger and inviting any interested parties to comment.

The July 13 release on the regulatory body’s Web site is part of the process of examining if a merger would cause competition problems.

One of the issues already under review is whether the merger would decrease LN’s use of CTS Eventim as a ticket agent, which may dissuade the German ticketing giant from entering the U.K. market. In turn, that could lead to fewer providers of primary ticketing services.

It’s one of the “theories of harm” the CC is investigating, along with other ways the merger might squeeze the market, although anyone who has other areas of concern has until Aug. 7 to bring them to the monopoly authority’s attention.

The CC will also look at the other side of the coin, which means examining the situation that would arise in the relevant market if the merger doesn’t go through.

Paul Latham, LN’s chief operating officer for international music, has been down this road as recently as 2006 with the CC’s investigation of the LN Gaiety takeover of the Academy Music Group. LN Gaiety is co-owned by Live Nation and Irish music and property entrepreneur Denis Desmond.

The CC eventually ruled it would give the company too much control over London’s live music venues, although it was satisfied when Latham was able to remedy this by selling off Hammersmith Apollo and The Forum to MAMA Group Plc.

The CC should rule on the proposed merger LN-TM merger by the end of November.