Viagogo/StubHub Merger Halted By UK Watchdog

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

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has ordered the parent companies of viagogo and StubHub to halt any merger proceedings for the time being.
The order sent to Pugnacious Endeavors, Inc. (viagogo), PUG LLC (PUG) and eBay Inc. (eBay/StubHub) prohibits the companies from seeing the $4.5 billion merger announced last November through.  
Neither is viagogo to integrate StubHub’s business, nor is ownership or control of the viagogo business or the StubHub business or any of their subsidiaries to be transferred.
In short: The ability of the StubHub business or the viagogo business to compete independently in any of the markets affected by the transaction is not to be impaired until CMA has made a final decision on whether to allow or to ban the merger.
In practice this means that all assets owned by either of the businesses will be maintained, and that the information technology of the StubHub or viagogo businesses, as well as both companies’ software and hardware platforms, shall remain essentially unchanged.
Each company is required to continue to operate and update its client base separately, and to negotiate with existing and new customers separately.
Starting February 21, both companies need to prove to the CMA on a two-weekly basis that they’re following the order.
CMA had announced in December that is was probing whether the acquisition of StubHub by viagogo would create a monopoly.
It invited parties with an interest in the merger to send their comments by Jan. 10. 
The date for the start of the actual merger inquiry, which will determine whether the merger is considered to lead to a monopoly or not, hasn’t been set yet.
Update (Feb. 10, 2.53 p.m.):
Cris Miller, managing director at viagogo, commented: “The requirement to hold separate the two businesses of viagogo and StubHub is an expected part of the merger process and we fully acknowledge the importance of the CMA’s examination into the deal. The acquisition has received regulatory approval in the US, but the businesses will remain separate globally, allowing the CMA to complete its inquiry and consider our evidence that this deal is a positive move for fans.  We will continue to work closely with them through this process, with a view to successful completion soon.” 

A StubHub spokesperson commented: “The CMA order is consistent with the approach we have taken throughout this process and eBay and StubHub will continue to cooperate with the CMA. As the CMA states in the order itself, we do not expect any impact to the planned close of the StubHub and viagogo transaction. We are on track as previously communicated to complete the sale by the end of Q1 2020. We believe that StubHub and viagogo will be an excellent combination with significant future growth potential and will offer tremendous value to fans and partners alike.”