Eventim Search Extends To Staff

The Munich prosecutor’s investigation into how 70,000 2006 World Cup soccer tickets ended up on the black market has allegedly extended to the homes of CTS Eventim employees.

German newspapers are reporting the police raid on the company’s HQ Sept. 17 has been widened.

It wasn’t possible to get comment from Eventim executive chairman Klaus-Peter Schulenberg or legal and communications chief Rainer Appel at press time, but a company spokesman told Geman daily paper Sueddeutsche Zeitung the police raids had come as “a complete surprise.” He said the company is fully cooperating with the inquiry.

“We will be doing everything to help clear up the matter,” he said.

The raid on Eventim’s Bremen HQ came as the Munich public prosecutor’s office was already examining documents taken from the German Football Federation (DFB).

Eventim held the exclusive right to sell the tickets for the World Cup finals, which were staged in Germany. The event produced revenues of more than euro 5 million ($6.6 million).

Eventim is also partnering with DFB as the official ticket-seller for next year’s women’s World Cup, which is also being staged in Germany.

The Munich prosecutor’s search came a couple of weeks after it was revealed the German monopoly authority is probing Eventim’s $183.5 million purchase of major rival See Tickets Germany and Ticket Online Group.

The Cartel Office wants to see detailed information on the deal to determine whether it should have been notified of the transaction under the country’s merger control regulations.

Eventim says a team of specialist merger lawyers monitored the acquisition and concluded no notification was necessary due to the revenue and ownership situation when the transaction took place.

“We are confident that, after detailed examination of all the facts, the Federal Cartel Office will reach the same conclusion as we did,” Schulenberg said in a company statement.

The share purchase agreement and a 12-year exclusive ticketing contract with former owner Stage Entertainment Germany were signed July 5.