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Stubagogo will spin off StubHub international

StubHub and Viagogo will work with UK regulators to “implement the agreed-upon remedy” of selling off StubHub outside North America

By IQ on 04 Feb 2021

A StubHub ad in New York

A StubHub ad in New York

image © Nik Reed/Alejandro Beltran (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Both Viagogo and StubHub have signalled they are willing to sell off the latter’s international operations in order to clear the remaining legal hurdles to the merger of the two businesses.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said earlier this week that StubHub must divest its business outside North America in order secure regulatory approval for its takeover by Switzerland-based Viagogo, which was largely complete by February 2020. Viagogo, led by StubHub founder Eric Baker, announced its intention to acquire US-based StubHub for US$4.05 billion in cash in late 2019, just before the pandemic put the brakes on live events globally.

In a statement, a spokesperson for StubHub says the company is happy for its business outside North America – which includes offices in Europe, South America and Asia, and is believed to account for around 10% of StubHub’s overall business – to continue under new ownership if it secures CMA approval for the merger. (The CMA must also vet the purchaser of the StubHub international business, as well as the terms of the acquisition.)

“StubHub is happy to have found common ground with the CMA that allows our North American business to move forward”

“StubHub is happy to have found common ground with the CMA that allows our North American business to move forward with the merger with Viagogo and our international business to move forward under new ownership,” says the spokesperson.

“We will continue to work with the CMA to implement the agreed-upon remedy. Once completed, consumers will continue to benefit from the safe and secure marketplaces provided by both businesses.”

“We are pleased to have found a remedy that is acceptable to the CMA that will allow everyone involved to move forward with clarity and certainty,” reads a similar statement from Viagogo. “Importantly, both viagogo and StubHub will continue to provide a safe and secure platform for people to buy and sell tickets to events all over the world.”

The CMA’s investigation found that the combined Viagogo-StubHub business would control a market share of more than 90% of the for-profit secondary ticketing market in the UK. The company faces stiffer competition in the US, where ticket touting is more accepted, from the likes of Ticketmaster Resale, Ticket Network, Vivid Seats and SeatGeek.


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