UK Competition Watchdog Probes Viagogo/StubHub Merger

viagogo has acquired StubHub from eBay
– viagogo has acquired StubHub from eBay
Selling point: $4.05 billion

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the UK’s cartel office, is probing whether the recent acquisition of StubHub by viagogo will create a monopoly.
In its own words, the CMA is “considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.”
Parties that have an interest in the viagogo/StubHub merger have until Jan. 10 to send their comments to a physical or digital CMA address, provided on its website.
One party that has already written to the CMA is the UK’s FanFair Alliance, a group campaigning against the for-profit resale of tickets.
Adam Webb, campaign manager of FanFair Alliance, provided Pollstar with the following statement: “Having written to the CMA and urged them to investigate, we’re obviously pleased they’ve opened a Phase 1 inquiry.
“Aside from the persistent controversies surrounding these platforms, both of which are almost wholly dependent upon large-scale commercial ticket resellers, a merger between viagogo and StubHub would have profound and damaging impacts for UK audiences and music businesses.”  
Pollstar has reached out to viagogo for comment.

Update: A spokesperson for viagogo provided us with the following statement:  “It’s customary for regulators to review acquisitions of this size.  We will work collaboratively with the CMA to address any of the enquiries.”