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LN, Isle of Wight merger under investigation

The CMA is investigating whether the acquisition of Isle of Wight Festival by LN-Gaiety will "result in a substantial lessening of competition" in the UK festival market

By Jon Chapple on 26 Apr 2017

Roger Daltrey, The Who, Isle of Wight Festival 2016

Roger Daltrey of The Who performs at Isle of Wight Festival 2016


image © Isle of Wight Festival

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is investigating the recent acquisition of Isle of Wight Festival by Live Nation.

The competition watchdog, which is also currently probing several secondary ticketing sites for suspected breaches of consumer law, said yesterday it is “considering, pursuant to section 22 of the [2002 Enterprise] Act”, whether the merger of Isle of Wight Festival Ltd and Live Nation/Denis Desmond’s LN-Gaiety Holdings Ltd “has resulted or may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in any market or markets in the United Kingdom”.

While noting nothing in its initial enforcement order “shall oblige Live Nation or LN-Gaiety to reverse any act or omission” taken so far, CMA says the two companies are prohibited from taking any actions which may “lead to the integration of the Isle of Wight Festival business with the Live Nation business” or “transfer the ownership or control of the Live Nation business or the Isle of Wight Festival business or any of their subsidiaries” until its investigation is complete.

Live Nation is prohibited from taking any actions which may “lead to the integration of the Isle of Wight Festival business with the Live Nation business” until the CMA’s investigation is complete

Representatives of Live Nation and LN-Gaiety, as well as other interested parties, will be invited to comment at a later date.

As reported in March, under the acquisition plans LN-Gaiety is to become a majority shareholder in Isle of Wight Festival, with agent and promoter John Giddings, who revived the event in 2002 after a 32-year hiatus, continuing in his leadership role.

Some 42,000 festivalgoers are expected to attend Isle of Wight 2017, headlined by Rod Stewart, Arcade Fire and David Guetta and Run-DMC.

Live Nation declined to comment.

 


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