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DEAG turns a profit in first nine months of 2020

Germany’s Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG) made money in the first nine months of 2020, its latest financial results reveal, turning a profit of €300,000 in quarters one to three, even against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Berlin-based company, which trades on the Frankfurt stock exchange, turned over €39 million in January–September (compared to €123.1m in the same period last year), resulting in earnings before interest, tax depreciation, and amortisation (ebitda) of €0.3m.

In Q3 (July to September) alone, ebitda was €0.6m, with DEAG attributing the success to new event formats, significant cost cutting (the firm has almost halved its spending this year) and €10m worth of insurance compensation. (DEAG revealed in March it is “fully covered” for coronavirus-related disruption.)

For the full year 2020, DEAG expects to at least break even, according CEO Peter Schwenkow, who says the company already has over €100m in sales for 2021, along with liquidity of around €50m.

“In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are comfortable with our results for the first nine months of 2020,” comments Schwenkow.

“We are comfortable with our results for the first nine months of 2020”

“Although large parts of our visible operational business are currently suspended, the DEAG team is working behind the scenes to continue our growth course successfully as the pandemic ebbs away and finally comes to an end.

“The breakthrough in the development of vaccines in November brings a tailwind for our entire industry. We have significantly reduced our cost base and are taking advantage of available promotion and support programmes in our core markets. We are currently already planning for the opening of the market and a new start in live entertainment.

“In addition to our core markets of Germany, Switzerland and the UK, we are also present in Ireland through our joint venture Singular Artists. We are seeking contact with artists and management, preparing the expansion of our successful formats and developing new offers.”

DEAG says its ticketing business, comprising MyTicket and the UK’s Gigantic, is becoming “increasingly important” for the company’s bottom line, adding that MyTicket now includes additionally functionality to ensure social distancing at events.

The publishing of DEAG’s latest financial results follows that of German rival CTS Eventim, which revealed last week it has lost just under €18m in 2020 to date.


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Virtually Live: ILMC 33 launches with Azoff keynote

The organisers of the International Live Music Conference today (25 November) launched ILMC 33, the 2021 edition of the conference and the first in an all-virtual format.

Without the physical confines of a conference space, the annual event – which typically welcomes 2,000 professionals annually – will programme an expanded schedule of panels, meetings, workshops and keynotes.

Also announced today is ILMC 2021’s first keynote interview, featuring legendary music executive Irving Azoff. Hosted by Ed Bicknell, The (Late) Breakfast Meeting with Irving Azoff sees Azoff join the raconteur and former Dire Straits manager to discuss his remarkable career in music, from managing Eagles and Jon Bon Jovi to running Ticketmaster and being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Given the unprecedented circumstances, next year’s ‘Virtually Live’ ILMC will be opening its doors to non-members for the first time, allowing a wider range of live music professionals to attend.

“It’s important that the whole business is able to come together at such a pivotal time for the industry’s recovery,” explains ILMC head Greg Parmley. “With that in mind, we’ve decided to open up ILMC to the wider live music family for the first time, ensuring as many delegates are possible are able to exchange ideas and benefit from each other’s expertise.”

“It’s important that the whole business is able to come together at such a pivotal time for the industry’s recovery”

ILMC 33 also includes a fully online version of the Arthur Awards, the live music industry’s Oscar equivalents, which feature several new award categories – including Unsung Heroes and Tour of the Decade, which will be voted for live on the night. The ILMC Production Meeting (IPM) and Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI) will both precede ILMC on Tuesday 2 March.

Confirmed speakers for ILMC 2021 already include Tim Leiweke (Oak View Group), Bob Lefsetz (Lefsetz Letter), Emma Banks (CAA), Sam Kirby Yoh (UTA), Tony Goldring (WME), Tom Windish (Paradigm) and Phil Bowdery (Live Nation). The first conference sessions will be announced in the coming days.

In addition to three days of conference sessions, the digital ILMC platform will feature hosted networking lounges, speed meetings and virtual exhibition spaces, while a schedule of nighttime events also includes a series of livestream showcases from emerging artists.

Last year’s conference programme included keynotes from Peter Rudge and team Mumford & Sons, and guest speaker slots from executives including David Zedeck (UTA), Phil Rodriguez (Move Concerts), Roberta Medina (Rock in Rio), Ashish Hemrajani (BookMyShow), Detlef Kornett (DEAG), Maria May (CAA), Scott Mantell (ICM Partners) and Jim King (AEG Presents). The full 2021 agenda will be published in January.

Companies supporting ILMC 33 include Live Nation, Ticketmaster, CTS Eventim, Showsec and Tysers.

For more information, visit the new ILMC website, which invites the industry’s top gamers, avatars and cyberpunks to join us in the conference mainframe from 3 to 5 March 2021.


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Beyond solidarity

The Black Lives Matter movement and Black Out Tuesday galvanised many teams to reflect, connect with Black communities, and come together as a global music industry in solidarity against anti-Black racism, bigotry and prejudice. And the momentum for change kept up in the UK through Black History Month celebrations.

It is also great to hear a groundswell of ‘building back better’ discussions to ensure that the industry’s Covid-19 recovery allows the music community to act on systemic injustice, inequitable financial benefit and the many barriers that prevent underrepresented creators and professionals from fulfilling potential and forging long-term successful careers.

We know the pandemic disproportionately impacts underrepresented groups and we must counteract that with a greater sense of urgency. At PRS Foundation, we know we will play a vital role in recovery and in shaping the future of music to build a stronger, connected and sustainable music community.

We have made much progress to address gender inequality, launching Women Make Music in 2011, achieving gender balance across our grants programmes in 2018, and co-founding the global Keychange movement, which has over 370 music companies working together towards achieving gender balance by 2022.

“Goodwill amounts to little more than window-dressing if not followed up by commitments, action and accountability”

And we are building on our strong track-record for inclusivity and industry collaboration to develop a long-term ambitious programme to power-up Black creative and executive talent.

To bring about meaningful and lasting change, public solidarity is not enough. Goodwill amounts to little more than window-dressing if not followed up by commitments, action and accountability.

So, what does action and change look like? And to paraphrase the ever-inspiring Keith Harris, OBE, how do we seize the momentum to avoid this becoming “another false dawn in terms of equality in the industry”?

If you don’t know where to begin, you are not alone. Perhaps you feel that personal action may not be enough. Or that the pandemic means you or your company cannot contribute financially.

Or perhaps you’re one of the hundreds of first-time organisation grantees receiving lifeline support from the Culture Recovery Fund or similar Arts Council funds across the UK. You might not know where to start when it comes to the crucial commitment you have made to increase organisational diversity and the diversity of audiences, visitors and/or participants.

I want to stress that there are already very clear pathways to meaningful change. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. You can connect with the many who have worked tirelessly for decades on diversity and inclusion, or to brand new collectives and initiatives launched this year. And there has never been a bigger opportunity (and responsibility) to come together to address social injustice.

“You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Connect with the many who have worked tirelessly for decades on diversity and inclusion”

Below are some individuals, initiatives and organisations whose work might inspire you:

Black Music Coalition (BMC) – launched by senior music execs following Black Out Tuesday, the BMC set out five priorities to tackle discrimination in the UK music industry, followed by a must-read manifesto that includes the creation of a resource pack available to music companies.

Nadia Khan – the Women in CTRL network has 800 members and its Seat at the Table report sparked considerable commitments to improve board representation at UK trade bodies.

Ammo Talwar – through the UK Music Diversity Task Force, Ammo has been working tirelessly with colleagues on the 2020 Diversity Report.

Michael Rapino – the Live Nation CEO set global commitments and ambitious targets to build diversity by 2025. Crucially, he is committed to holding himself accountable – something our Keychange pledge has been encouraging for years.

Oslo World – have adapted to the pandemic with an innovative 3D virtual festival and, acting on their ‘Solidarity’ theme, have made all tickets free, with optional donations going to the Beirut music scene.

Creative responses – Native Instruments’ Covid-19 response saw them collaborate with artists to launch a donation-based charity sound pack, benefitting initiatives including Keychange and Heart n Soul. And we’ve had two indie companies donating in-kind support (e.g. residencies/marketing campaigns) to grantees of our Sustaining Creativity Fund.

Personal commitment – countless thousands have been donating to vital causes to support the music ecosystem during the pandemic. Beggars CEO, Paul Redding, swam for 16 hours across the English Channel to raise over £120,000 for a new racial inclusivity programme and for Sweet Relief’s Covid-19 fund in the US.


Joe Frankland is CEO of PRS Foundation.

CTS Eventim losses just €17.7m in 2020

Thanks to insurance compensation, the introduction of ticket vouchers in key markets and tens of millions of euros’ worth of cost cutting, CTS Eventim has lost just €17.7 million this year, the company’s latest financial figures reveal.

The Munich-based, pan-European live entertainment giant released its fiscal results for the first nine months of 2020 today (19 November), with the headline figure a 79% decline in turnover, to €228.7m, in financial quarters one to three.

However, showing earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) at a modest -€17.7m – and assets of nearly €800m in cash and cash equivalents – the report illustrates the relative strength of CTS Eventim’s financial position as the business heads into an uncertain winter.

Commenting on the figures, CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg says: “We have been convinced since the outbreak of the pandemic that the stresses imposed on our company must be seen as a trial of our strengths. That is the basis on which we act. There is no such thing as standstill.”

Key to the better-than-expected financials is the introduction of ticket voucher schemes, which allow promoters to offer credit, instead of cash, for postponed shows, in Germany, Italy and elsewhere.

“In the midst of this crisis, especially, we continue to bank on our strengths”

According to Schulenberg, the company has also made cost reductions worth a “double-digit-million [euro] figure” in 2020, with investments also “reduced to a minimum”, while insurance pay-outs for cancelled shows organised by its owned promoters have brought in another €43.3m this year.

“In the midst of this crisis, especially, we continue to bank on our strengths, namely technology and industry know-how,” continues Schulenberg, highlighting a new partnership with the European Handball Federation, as well as ticketing deals with football clubs Werder Bremen and Hannover 96, as evidence of the continued popularity of its platform in the sporting world.

“This is how we continue to convince our customers, both new and existing,” he adds.

For sports and live entertainment clients, meanwhile, Eventim is (like rivals Ticketmaster and See Tickets) offering a reengineered ticketing package designed to help promoters organise Covid-secure, socially distanced events. “Maintaining minimum distancing and logging visitor data are the prime focus,” says the company.


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A call for help from Hungary

Hungary has one of the highest rates of VAT in Europe. Here, value-added tax is charged at – you’re going to want to sit down for this – 27%!

There are some exceptions, for sure, but this is the normal VAT. Books, for example, have had only 5% VAT for quite a long time, and recently some basic food earned the ‘privilege’ to be part of the 5% VAT ‘family’, but there are not that many. This is our starting point; factor in that this is the year of Covid-19 and you could say it’s pretty tough for Hungarian music right now.

I found myself in the Hungarian music scene in 2012 when I moved back from my second most-loved city, London. Over the past eight years I’ve seen quite a lot of changes.

A few days ago Viktor Orbán, our prime minister, made a stand for what he sees as Hungary’s interests, vetoing the next EU budget over concerns about migration – not only throwing away financial help, but denying it to all other EU countries. At the same time, in his own country he leaves those who are feeding our locked-down, under-pressure nation with intellectual nourishment – the artists and creative industries – without any support.

Let’s do the maths. Since March, the Hungarian cultural sector received €26.5 million in total, but the numbers are a bit fuzzy. Approximately €3m went to non-state-funded theatre, dance, circus and classical/folk/jazz music, and €23.5 million to popular music. Nothing really to film or fine arts. Additionally, there were three months (March–May) of relief from employer tax and KATA (is a fixed monthly tax for self-employed people and micro-enterprises, which is the most common way of paying tax in the music sector). Since the end of October, we have another lockdown, and since 11 November we have a 20.00 curfew too. For this, the government has decided to offer some relief for employers, but not for KATA payers.

It’s not just about money or numbers – in the long run, it’s about being a bit more crisis-resistant

But let’s go back to the €23.5m the music sector received. This includes the previously mentioned relief, some normal support handled by NKA, the National Cultural Fund (via applications, for example, for recorded or or livestreamed no-audience gigs); some extra support (for some extra gigs, with or without an audience) handled by PIÜ, the Petőfi Literary Agency; and the so-called “warehouse gigs”, for which €14.7m out of the total €23.5m, was allocated. These were handled by Antenna Hungária Zrt, a government-owned for-profit company, which is a broadcast company with nothing to do with live music.

The warehouse gigs were no-audience concerts at an unused warehouse (instead of any music venue) broadcast to a registration-only platform created by the same company. It was invitation-only for bands who would have played at at least 2–3 festivals this summer, and for ‘living legend’ musicians. Rumour says Antenna Hungária got the tender because the Hungarian Foundation Day fireworks had been cancelled this year, which was supposed to be their business, and cost approximately the same. It is also rumoured, if we do the maths with the bands who were accepted into this programme, that approximately 60–70% of this money stayed in the pocket of Antenna Hungária and its subcontractor, the close-to-government Visual Europe Group.

Just as a comparison, a couple of weeks ago, on 9–10 November, we held the eighth annual Music Hungary Conference. I had a panel with Neus López (Initiative Musik) and Helge Hinteregger (Music Information Centre Austria). We had been talking about state aid across Europe, and the numbers they used as examples caused the whole audience to fall into astonished silence. I didn’t even dare to ask their opinion on the difference in attitude: Angela Merkel, a couple of weeks ago, said culture and music is an important part of our society, so we must appreciate the artists and cultural workers; whereas in July, Gergely Gulyás, head of the prime minister’s office in Hungary, was asked why a concert is limited to a maximum of 500 people while a football game can happen with no capacity limit. He replied that there’s a big difference between a concert and a football match, and that is the consumption of alcohol.

If I can stop here for another example of comparison in attitudes, in most EU countries musicians and artists received aid with no strings attached, while here in Hungary there was no aid, only support which you had to apply for, based on tasks to do (eg no-audience gigs).

Come and enjoy the best we can offer, and in doing so, help us save our live music sector

At the conference, Dávid Szilágyi, lead analyst at PricewaterhouseCoopers Hungary, introduced the results of a new study about reducing VAT on live music ticketing from 27% to 5%. This study had been ordered and co-financed by Music Hungary Association.

To give an overview of our live music history in a nutshell: strong and brave Hungarian promoters were fighting for almost two decades to put Hungary on the international touring map, to mark us as a “trusted country” where artists can play in good venues and amazing festivals, get decent fees and experience warm hospitality. I strongly believe Sziget festival and A38 Ship were the flag-bearers in this fight, and they won. A strong industry lobby fought for 18% VAT on festival tickets and we got it in 2013, but the strict terms excluded many in the first couple of years. Then the good years came. Last year was probably one of the best. In 2019, the Hungarian live industry was worth an estimated €125m by net ticket sales.

If we take the €125m in net ticket sales as starting point, reducing VAT from 27% (or 18% for festivals) to 5% would leave an extra €18.5m in the music industry is annually. Of course, on the other hand, this VAT reduction means a €18.5m loss to the central budget – however, if the Hungarian live music sector becomes stronger and more competitive on the European market, it would increase the revenues too, with the organisation of additional concerts providing the central budget with an additional €3.3m and local governments with an approximate €228,000 annually.

But it’s not just about money or numbers – in the long run, it’s about being a bit more crisis-resistant. It’s about having a better chance to keep the music professionals on their own playground, and having a better chance to keep jobs. It’s about keeping alive the social experience, and the culture itself, and providing the feeling of being together. We have an amazing music scene, an amazing nightlife, and not to mention our music and cultural festivals.

This article is a call for help to our government, and towards people all around Europe. Even if we have a competitive disadvantage due to the high VAT, please come here and play on our stages. Please come here, check out our festivals, and have fun. Enjoy the best we can offer – in Budapest and outside of the capital, too – and by doing so, help us save our live music sector.


Eszter Décsy is founder and artist manager at NOW Books & Music and PR and communication manager for Music Hungary Association. She is writing in a personal capacity.

VAT cut ‘could save Hungarian live sector’

The Hungarian live music business is calling on the government to support the industry by slashing the sky-high VAT levied on concert and festival tickets.

Currently, value-added tax is charged at 27% on concert and 18% on festival tickets in Hungary. According to a new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the Hungarian government could give the industry – whose revenues are 10% what they were in 2019 – a shot in the arm, and make it more “crisis resistant” in future, by cutting VAT to a uniform 5%.

The report – funded by Music Hungary, Sziget festival, promoter InConcert, the Hungarian Festival Association (Magyar Fesztivál Szövetség) and the Association of Music Managers (Zenei Managerek Szövetsége), among others – was presented at Music Hungary’s annual conference, held on 9 and 10 November, days before Hungary went into a second lockdown.

In 2019, the Hungarian live industry was worth an estimated 45 billion Ft (€125 million) by net ticket sales. PwC’s analysis shows that a reduction in VAT to to 5% would provide the Hungarian music industry with an additional 6.7bn Ft annually, the tax cut more than paying for itself by stimulating increased ticket sales.

“A reduction in the VAT rate would have a positive impact on all players in the sector”

According to Dávid Szilágyi, chief analyst of PwC Hungary, the current rate of VAT also makes it difficult for promoters to afford foreign performers.

According to Music Hungary, the Hungarian music industry has received next to no aid throughout the coronavirus crisis, with just €23.5 million finding its way to the sector since March. Of that, €14m went to poorly received government-sponsored ‘warehouse concerts’ (raktár koncertek) held behind closed doors since August.

“Our research highlights the economic and cultural significance of concerts and festivals, and also emphasises that a reduction in the VAT rate would have a positive impact on all players in the sector,” concludes the PwC report.

In October, IQ partnered with Hungarian Oncoming Tunes (Hots), the Hungarian music export office, to showcase the best of Hungary’s resilient live music scene.


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UK live industry grew 17% in year before Covid

The worth of the UK’s live music industry increased by 17% in 2019, according to UK Music’s flagship annual economic study.

The Music By Numbers 2020 report says that the live sector enjoyed its most successful year to date in 2019 and that 2020 was “shaping up to be even stronger” but due to the pandemic is now in “urgent need of a lifeline”.

According to the recently published UK live music: At a cliff edge report, the live sector contributed £4.5 bn to the UK economy in 2019 but its revenue has dropped to almost zero this year due to the pandemic.

“The Music By Numbers report shows that pre-Covid-19 the live music industry was growing rapidly, up 17% in 2019 and delivering increasing value to UK plc. The pandemic literally stopped the show. Targeted help is needed to support our proudly entrepreneurial sector through this economic uncertainty and return it back to growth,” says Phil Bowdery, chair of the Concert Promoters Association (CPA).

UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin says: “2019 was a fantastic year for the UK music industry, and we were firmly on track to be one of the great British success stories of the coming decade.

“Music By Numbers 2020 shows just how successful our industry was before the catastrophic blow of Covid-19 knocked it down, and how important it is that we get it back on its feet.

“When the time comes to recover from this pandemic, our world-leading music industry can be a key part of our country’s post-Covid economic and cultural revival – but we need the right support to get us there.”

“The pandemic literally stopped the show. Targeted help is needed to support our proudly entrepreneurial sector”

In the report, UK Music says the live sector’s increase in worth was partly due to a high number of stadium tours and “a consistently strong performance across the sector,” along with data collection improvements among grassroots venues.

The report nods to 2019 stadium shows from international artists such as Bon Jovi and The Eagles alongside domestic superstars such as the Spice Girls and Take That.

Major touring artists contribute massively to the live sector’s GVA and supports festivals and enables promoters to reinvest in
developing acts.

However, this year, social distancing has prevented most events from taking place – operationally and economically – while travel restrictions have made touring impossible for both UK and international artists.

The Music By Numbers 2020 report concludes by noting that the government-backed Culture Recovery Fund was welcome but says “more support is needed so that the industry can get through this period with as many organisations and companies surviving as possible”.

The report calls for five specific actions to restart the live music at the earliest opportunity including an extension of the VAT rate reduction on tickets beyond 31 March 2021; government backing for a live music events reinsurance scheme; an extension of business rate relief for venues for 2021/22 financial year and removal of festival sites on agricultural land from the business rates system.

It also calls for 2020 local authority license fees for festivals to be rolled over to 2021 and for the continuation of joint industry/government work to establish clear protocols with health agencies regarding testing and live events.

Read the full Music By Numbers 2020 report here.


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Event Genius unveils Covid-secure product suite

Event Genius has launched a new range of products – egTicketing, egMarketing, egTravel, egAccess and egPay – designed to offer event organisers an end-to-end, Covid-secure ticketing, travel, access control, marketing and payments solution.

The launch comes amid a rebrand that brings the ticketing and event management platform, along with consumer-facing brand Ticket Arena, in line with parent company Festicket, including new logos and a new design for B2B websites, self-service platforms and user interfaces. Festival travel specialist Festicket acquired both brands last summer.

“The pandemic made us stop and really think about what we could offer to the industry. It made us realise that the Event Genius acquisition came at just the right time,” explains Festicket CEO Zack Sabban. “The feedback we’ve had from clients is that organisers have so much more to contend with at present, and that being able to streamline their ticketing, travel, access, marketing and onsite payment processes with one provider gives them the time and freedom to overcome the challenges of organising events during a pandemic.”

A video, which can be watched above, outlines the new Covid-secure product updates for fans and promoters.

“It’s clear that 2020 has been a tough time to be in the events industry, but it’s been amazing to be able to strike up high-profile partnerships alongside the likes of AEG Presents, Rolling Loud, Rock in Rio and Afro Nation, and more recently EDC Portugal, the USA’s Revibe Wellness Retreat Festival and Amnesia Ibiza. Seeing organisers of this nature putting their faith in what we’re doing to help fans and promoters get back to the events they love is both encouraging and extremely rewarding.”


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Ticketmaster UK fined for 2018 data breach

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined Ticketmaster £1.25 million over a data breach that compromised the payment information of an estimated 9.4m customers in Europe, including 1.5m in the UK.

Concluding its investigation of a 2018 cyberattack which targeted Ticketmaster, TicketWeb and Get Me In! websites through a third-party customer support plug-in, the ICO found that Ticketmaster UK Ltd violated GDPR by failing to put in place “appropriate security measures” to protect its customers’ data.

ICO investigators found that, as a direct result of the Ticketmaster breach, 60,000 payment cards belonging to Barclays Bank customers had been subjected to known fraud. Another 6,000 cards were replaced by Monzo Bank after it suspected fraudulent use.

James Dipple-Johnstone, ICO deputy commissioner, says Ticketmaster failed to assess the risks of including the third-party product, a chatbot developed by Inbenta Technologies, on its payment page, as well implement appropriate security measures to negate those risks.

“Looking after their customers’ personal details safely should be at the top of organisations’ agenda”

The company also failed to identify the source of the fraudulent activity in a timely manner, having taken nine weeks from first being alerted to possible fraud (in February 2018) to finally monitoring the network traffic through its online payment page, according to the ICO.

“When customers handed over their personal details, they expected Ticketmaster to look after them,” says Dipple-Johnstone (pictured). “But they did not. Ticketmaster should have done more to reduce the risk of a cyberattack. Its failure to do so meant that millions of people in the UK and Europe were exposed to potential fraud.

“The £1.25 million fine we’ve issued today will send a message to other organisations that looking after their customers’ personal details safely should be at the top of their agenda.”

The Ibenta bot was removed from Ticketmaster’s websites in June 2018.


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Viagogo offers to sell parts of StubHub in merger bid

Viagogo is offering to sell StubHub’s resale business outside of North America in a bid to address concerns expressed by the UK’s competition watchdog which has provisionally halted the $4 billion (£3bn) merger.

UK watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), recently found that the acquisition of StubHub by Viagogo will reduce competition in an “already very concentrated market”, throwing into doubt the fate of the already completed deal in the UK.

Now, Viagogo is proposing the sale of StubHub’s holding company, which operates all of its international primary and secondary businesses, including its UK operations, in a bid to address the CMA’s concerns – though the deal would see Viagogo retain StubHub’s much larger US and Canadian ticket resale business.

“There are some glaring concerns with their reported proposal, which appears to suggest a three-year lease not an outright sale”

Under the sale, the buyer of StubHub’s operations would receive customer and transaction data in the UK and beyond as well as the Spain-based Ticketbis, which was sold to StubHub in 2016 for a reported €165m.

The proposal also states that the buyer would be allowed to use the StubHub UK brand for three years, followed by a year-long “blackout” where neither the buyer nor Viagogo could use the StubHub brand in Britain.

Adam Webb, campaign manager for anti-ticket touting group FanFair Alliance, told IQ: “Viagogo is a discredited business that’s been at the heart of a major ticket mis-selling scandal, ripping off UK audiences to the tune of millions. The operators of this platform cannot be trusted. Even on initial glance, there are some glaring concerns with their reported proposal, which appears to suggest a three-year lease of StubHub UK’s business – not an outright sale. We have already raised these concerns with the CMA.”

While a Viagogo spokesperson says: “We look forward to working with the CMA to deliver a comprehensive solution which addresses their concerns and we believe this proposal would achieve that.”


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