LN-Gaiety/MCD Merger: UK Competition Watchdog Concerned

Jason Derulo performs on stage with female dancers at Dublin
Ben Ryan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
– Jason Derulo performs on stage with female dancers at Dublin
The Sept. 2018 concert was promoted by MCD Productions

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) in Irleand, where MCD is based, already cleared the merger subject to a number of legally binding commitments. The CMA, however, has concerns relating to the concert and festival business in Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK.
“The CMA is concerned that the deal could result in less competition in the music promotion industry in Northern Ireland,” the watchdog announced after an initial investigation.
The CMA points out that “both companies run music festivals, whilst MCD also promotes live music events. Live Nation manages artists, operates venues and provides ticketing services through Ticketmaster – which it owns.
“There are only a few rival music promoters in the region and they mainly rely on Ticketmaster to sell tickets to their events. As Live Nation already owns Ticketmaster, the CMA is concerned that if it were to acquire MCD, it may be able to stop rival promoters selling tickets through that platform post-merger. 
“This could result in less competition in promotion services to artists, leading to higher prices for concert goers, as well as a smaller variety of live music events to choose from.”
The CMA emphasised that it does not have competition concerns regarding the companies’ other business areas, including music festivals and (access to) music venues.
MCD and LN-Gaiety are asked to address these concerns. Live Nation UK chairman Denis Desmond, who is both the co-owner of Gaiety Investments alongside his wife, as well as the co-founder and owner of MCD Productions, said: “We will work with the CMA to allay any concerns they have.”