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LN-MCD merger referred for “in-depth investigation”

The takeover of MCD Productions by Live Nation's Gaiety Holdings (LNG) will be subject to further investigation in a ‘phase 2’ CMA probe

By Jon Chapple on 25 Jul 2019

Kip Meek will chair the LNG-MCD inquiry

image © CMA

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) today referred its investigation of Live Nation’s proposed takeover of MCD Productions for an in-depth ‘phase 2’ probe.

Following a preliminary, ‘phase 1’ inquiry that found the merger could result in less competition in Northern Ireland – claiming, somewhat implausibly, that a Live Nation-controlled MCD might “stop rival promoters from selling tickets” through Ticketmaster – the competition regulatory has referred the planned acquisition for an “in-depth” set to conclude in January 2020.

LN-Gaiety Holdings (LNG) – a joint venture between Live Nation UK and Denis Desmond’s Gaiety Investments – announced last August it planned to acquire Desmond’s company MCD Productions. Cork-born Desmond succeeded John Probyn as Live Nation’s chairman in the UK and Ireland in 2015, although MCD – founded by Desmond and Eamonn McCann in 1980, and now co-owned by Desmond and his wife, Caroline Downey – retained its independence.

The new inquiry will be led by the CMA’s Robin Cohen, Anne Fletcher and chair Kip Meek (pictured).

On today’s decision, Desmond says: “We will continue to work with the CMA to allay any concerns they have.”

 


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