fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Ireland clears Live Nation-MCD Productions merger

Following an investigation, the Republic of Ireland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has cleared the acquisition of MCD Productions by LN-Gaiety Holdings (LNG).

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.

CCPC announced a detailed ‘phase 2’ investigation into the merger, which looked into whether it would “substantially lessen” competition in the Irish concert market, at the start of this year, following a preliminary phase 1 probe in 2018.

According to the competition watchdog, it “identified a number of competition concerns arising from the overlapping activities of Live Nation and MCD in the provision of primary ticketing services, the promotion of live events and the operation of live event venues” in the republic. “These concerns included the likely impact on competition of future acquisitions of festivals or festival operators, the potential for anti-competitive information sharing, and the potential for retaliatory action against independent live event venues because they choose an alternative ticketing services provider,” according to a CCPC statement.

“We are pleased to learn that … the CCPC have approved MCD becoming part of the Live Nation Gaiety family”

To address these competition concerns, LN-Gaiety and MCD submitted the following proposals, which were accepted by CCPC:

“A proposed transaction involving parties with interconnected activities, and a sector with a limited number of players, is particularly challenging…”

To read CCPC’s ruling in full, click here.

Isolde Goggin, chair of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, comments: “Today’s determination is the culmination of ten months of in-depth analysis and consultation. The assessment of a proposed transaction involving parties with interconnected activities and a sector with a limited number of players is particularly challenging and requires robust scrutiny. […]

“The CCPC’s review of the proposed transaction included economic analysis of the affected markets and evidence from third parties active at all levels of the supply chain including promoters, ticketing services providers and live event venues. Taking into consideration the commitments provided by the parties, there is no evidence that the proposed transaction will result in a substantial lessening of competition in any market for goods or services in the state.

“The commitments obtained are legally binding and include requirements in relation to compliance reporting.”

The merger remains under review in the UK, where the Consumer and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating competition concerns.

Commenting on the CCPC decision, Desmond says: “We are pleased to learn that following a comprehensive investigation, the CCPC have approved MCD becoming part of the Live Nation Gaiety family.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

CMA investigates Live Nation-MCD merger

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating LN-Gaiety Holdings’ (LNG) planned merger with Irish promoter MCD Productions, joining its counterpart in Ireland which launched a ‘phase 2’ investigation into the acquisition in January.

LNG – a joint venture between Live Nation UK and Denis Desmond’s Gaiety Investments – announced its plans to acquire Desmond’s company MCD Productions in August. Desmond succeeded John Probyn as Live Nation UK and Ireland chairman in 2015, although MCD remained independent. The acquisition was described as the “logical next step” for the two companies.

The planned merger first caught the attention of the Republic of Ireland’s consumer protection agency, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), who launched an investigation into the deal.

“The logical next step” for LNG, the acquisition would significantly strengthen the relationship between Live Nation UK and its chairman

The Irish competition watchdog then embarked on a further ‘phase 2’, after being “unable to conclude that the proposed transaction will not lead to a substantial lessening of competition in any market for goods or services”.

Now, the CCPC’s UK counterpart has announced its own investigation into the acquisition.

The CMA launched a similar investigation into Live Nation’s 2017 takeover of Isle of Wight Festival, concerned that the deal would stifle the British festival market. Live Nation was cleared in September of the same year.

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) requested a separate inquiry into Live Nation’s alleged dominance of the UK festival market in August 2017, although CMA did not act on the appeal.

CMA is expected to give its decision based on stage one of the investigation by 11 July.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Live Nation–MCD merger under investigation

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), the Republic of Ireland’s consumer protection agency, has announced a ‘phase 2’ investigation into the acquisition of Irish promoter MCD Productions by UK-based LN-Gaiety Holdings (LNG).

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.

A phase 2 investigation, in CCPC-speak, follows a preliminary, ‘phase 1’, investigation if “the CCPC is unable to conclude that the proposed transaction will not lead to a substantial lessening of competition in any market for goods or services” in the republic.

Live Nation faced a similar investigation from the CCPC’s UK counterpart, the CMA, in 2017 over concerns its takeover of Isle of Wight Festival would stifle competition in Britain’s festival market, though the acquisition was cleared that September.

Live Nation has been contacted for comment.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

CCPC launches formal ticketing investigation

The Republic of Ireland’s consumer watchdog, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), is to investigate several ticket agencies, venues and promoters for suspected breaches of competition law.

Wicklow and East Carlow MP Stephen Donnelly revealed last week he had contacted CCPC to ask for an “investigation into potentially illegal activity” by ticket resellers. The commission announced today it has taken Donnelly’s request a step further, launching a full investigation into “potentially anti-competitive conduct” among those involved in the “provision of tickets and the operation of ticketing services for live events”.

Ticket touting has come under increased scrutiny in Ireland since the announcement earlier this month of U2’s The Joshua Tree Tour 2017. Tickets for the band’s show at Croke Park in Dublin in July sold out in less than six minutes, appearing, predictably, for inflated prices on secondary sites not long after.

“The investigation will focus primarily on potentially anti-competitive conduct by operators including those involved in providing tickets and ticketing services, promoters and venues”

Secondary ticketing was discussed in the Irish parliament on Tuesday, with jobs minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor announcing a public consultation – which will presumably run alongside the CCPC investigation – on the issue.

CCPC has already issued witness summonses to “a number of parties”, and says it also welcomes input from those working in the industry “who may have information that they feel is relevant to the investigation”.

The CCPC investigation follows similar probes by the Competition and Markets Authority and HMRC in neighbouring Britain.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.