Eventim’s TicketOne fined for anti-competitive behaviour
TicketOne, the market-leading primary ticket agency in Italy, has been fined €10 million by the Italian Competition Authority for alleged abuses of its dominant market position.
The latest judgment follows an investigation by the authority into TicketOne’s parent company, CTS Eventim, that first became public in 2019, when a handful of Italian promoters, led by Zed Entertainment’s Valeria Arzenton, alleged unfair competition on the part of Eventim-owned Friends and Partners (F&P).
Arzenton accused CTS Eventim/F&P of trying to strong-arm promoters and artists into ticketing contracts with TicketOne at the expense of non-Eventim operators – a claim strenuously denied by CTS Eventim, TicketOne, F&P and sister companies D’Alessandro e Galli, Vertigo and Vivo Concerti.
The verdict of the Competition Authority (known as the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, or AGCM, in Italian), published today (19 January), appear to back up Arzenton’s claims, finding that the ‘CTS Eventim-TicketOne group’ has created a “complex, abusive strategy” which prevents competing ticket sellers from obtaining a “particularly high proportion” (“quota particolarmente elevata”) of tickets for live music events.
In doing so, the group violated EU competition law, in particular Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, according to AGCM.
The authority further found that Eventim particularly sought to exclude TicketOne rival Ticketmaster, a relatively new entrant in Italy (and a non-exclusive ticketing partner of Arzenton’s Zed Entertainment), from the “relevant market”.
By preventing other ticket sellers from obtaining significant ticket inventory for shows organised by F&P, D’Alessandro e Galli, Vertigo and Vivo Concerti, all of which it acquired in a less than eight-month period in 2017–18, Eventim additionally caused harm to consumers, says AGCM, by limiting the choice of tickets available and allowing TicketOne to charge higher prices.
“CTS Eventim … are very confident that this illegal decision will also be overturned by the court”
In addition to the €10m fine, the authority has ordered CTS Eventim to grant TicketOne’s competitors a share of at least 20% of the tickets available for popular music shows organised by owned companies.
Arzenton welcomes the ruling as confirmation that “everything I was complaining about as true, in relation to the pressures and boycotts suffered” by Zed. “But now is the time to look ahead and work all together, as operators in this sector, to face the difficulties caused by this terrible pandemic,” she adds, “and be ready to start again in the name of culture and entertainment.”
In a statement provided to IQ, a CTS Eventim spokesperson refutes the ACGM ruling as being based on flawed data and says the company plans to appeal the verdict.
“TicketOne and CTS Eventim firmly reject AGCM’s claims that the group allegedly abused a dominant position,” they say. “On the basis of incorrect market definitions and in violation of essential procedural rules, the authority made a decision that should never have been made.
“Accordingly, TicketOne and CTS Eventim will appeal to the competent administrative court and are very confident, also with a view to the previous case law on decisions of the AGCM, that this illegal decision will also be overturned by the court.”
Criticism of Italy ticket law mounts after Sting ‘chaos’
Live Nation Italy has added its voice to the chorus of criticism surrounding Italy’s new named-ticket law, after a number of concertgoers were turned away from a delayed Sting show in Assago on Tuesday (29 October).
The show, at the Mediolanum Forum, near Milan, was the first promoted by Live Nation since the new regulations, introduced on 1 July, came into effect – and was therefore an “important test” of how the law would work in practice, says the company.
The answer? Not very well, according to Live Nation, who blamed the new legislation for the Sting show starting an hour late, after fans stuck in queues were unable to gain access to the arena.
The so-called named ticket law – designed to curb unauthorised resale – requires the purchaser’s name to be printed on tickets for all shows over 5,000 capacity, and concertgoers’ ID to match that name, to prevent tickets being sold on the secondary market. The Italian live music industry has consistently opposed the measure, warning of potential disruption and queues, and CTS Eventim’s TicketOne, Italy’s biggest ticket seller, said in September the law isn’t even effective, with tickets still widely available on the major resale sites.
Many people were also turned away from the Sting (pictured) show for having inadequate identification, or documents that didn’t match the name on their ticket.
Roberto De Luca, chairman of Live Nation Italy, says the company found itself in the “paradox that applying the law would lead to big disruptions, with the only solution being to violate it”.
“Of course we didn’t,” he says, “although we showed maximum flexibility and gave all possible assistance to the public.” Faced with huge queues, he continues, “even the police asked us to accept photocopied and scanned [ID] documents, which is not lawful.”
In addition to Live Nation and Eventim, criticism has been levelled at named tickets by Assomusica, the Italian concert promoters’ association, whose president, Vincenzo Spera, urges the government to reconsider the legislation for the sake of fans.
“One of the main concerns about the introduction of the new regulations, which we have always brought to the attention of the public, is the inconvenience caused by the new legislation,” comments Spera. “At an event of this magnitude [the Sting concert], where the spectators, being a weekday, arrive directly after work, huge delays are inevitable due to the need to carry out the checks required by law.”
Spera adds that Assomusica hopes the Italian parliament “will review the law by the end of the year”, taking into account “the many inconveniences and inefficiencies that occurred” at the Sting show. “Moreover, the phenomenon of secondary ticketing is far from being solved, and the authorities tasked with sanctioning the sites responsible have not yet taken adequate measures.”
“This law that penalises the public and punishes organisers, putting the live entertainment industry at risk”
Unfortunately for the industry, the incident appears to have strengthened the resolve of Sergio Battelli, the deputy who introduced the named-ticket law, who has hit out at Live Nation, describing as “pure madness” a private company “using the stage for a rally against a state law”.
“I would add that if Live Nation, which in the past few months has brought 60,000 people to the Olympic Stadium in Rome for the [pre-law] Ed Sheeran concert, has had difficulty in getting 10,000 spectators into the Assago Forum, the problem is not the law but the organiser,” he wrote on Facebook.
The industry, however, largely shares the view of De Luca, who adds: “If there were these problems on a concert for 10,000 people, it’s very serious – because it’s a test to see exactly what will happen with major shows such as festivals, and on long tours.”
“Live Nation therefore reiterates its utmost opposition to a law that penalises the public and punishes organisers, putting the live entertainment industry, which is a great cultural and economic resource for our country, at risk” reads a statement provided by Live Nation. “As demonstrated by other sectors, such as sports, and football in particular, we do not need named tickets to combat ticket touting.
“In fact, for [Sting], there were still copious amounts of tickets available on the secondary ticketing platforms.”
Major moves: consolidation sweeps the ticketing sector
The past 12 months have seen big-money deals by global firms who have been expanding their reach through buying up existing companies.
Eventim’s major expansion into the €800 million French live music market will see it establish a joint venture with the retailer by the end of 2019. Under the proposed new structure, Eventim would acquire 48% of France Billet, with an option to increase its holding to a majority stake over the next four years. It is folding its Eventim French business into the partnership, and the established brands – which in addition to Francebillet.com include Fnacspectacles.com and Billetreduc.com – will remain in operation.
This move will be a blow for Paris-headquartered multimedia conglomeration Vivendi, which owns the local company Digitick and was the third-largest competitor behind France Billet and Ticketmaster.
Leapfrogging its rivals, Eventim has secured the top position in the ticketing space. However, it currently does not have a promoter presence in France, unlike Live Nation or Vivendi, the latter of which owns the venues L’Olympia (1,996-cap.) and Theâtre de L’Œuvre (326-cap.) in Paris, as well as Olympia Production, the operator of a number of French festivals including Les Déferlantes (12,000-cap.) and Garorock (45,000-cap.).
In 2017-18, Eventim bought three significant promoters in Italy – Vertigo, Friends and Partners, and D’Alessandro e Galli (Di and Gi) – solidifying its brand TicketOne as the dominant ticketer in the country after Ticketmaster opened operations there in 2017.
On the other side of the world, Live Nation Entertainment’s (LNE) $480m decision to buy a 51% stake in Ocesa Entertainment, the largest promoter in Latin America, and owner of Ticketmaster Mexico, is noteworthy.
Promoting about 3,100 shows a year, Ocesa reportedly sold 3.8m tickets in 2018. Ticketmaster Mexico is comfortably the country’s biggest ticket seller, with around 37m tickets sold each year.
While LNE and Ocesa have had a long partnership, this move significantly enhances the global entertainment company’s footprint
While LNE and Ocesa have had a long partnership through touring, festivals and the Ticketmaster brand, this move significantly enhances the global entertainment company’s footprint.
It demonstrates LNE’s growing confidence in the Latin American market and will likely lead to an increasing number of tours by international talent to the continent, and potentially further acquisitions of promoters, ticketing companies or venues.
What impact it will have on Ticketmaster in the US, where the second language is Spanish, remains to be seen. The Spanish- language market in the US is arguably currently underserved, and this could be seen as an internal growth opportunity for the global behemoth.
But more importantly, this could be part of a wider move by LNE into Latin America, where the firm historically has no major presence. Last year it acquired one of Argentina’s top promoters, DF Entertainment, while earlier in 2018, it took a stake in one of the largest music festivals in the world, Rock in Rio (100,000-cap), recently increasing its holding to 60%, which could be a sign that Ticketmaster is preparing to make a move into Brazil. Does this indicate a strategy of expansion across the region? We’ll have to wait and see.
LNE-owned Ticketmaster also bought Australia and New Zealand’s most significant independent ticketing company, Moshtix, in February, further expanding its presence in a market where it competes fiercely with TEG’s Ticketek.
Although it’s not likely to shift the balance of power, Ticketmaster’s move will add another indie brand to its suite of ticketing platforms.
Meanwhile, TEG grew its Asian reach by buying the Philippines-based ticketing company TicketWorld. This adds to its existing interests in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macau. As well as major international tours by the likes of Guns N’ Roses and Katy Perry, TicketWorld has a strong presence in the local theatre market, and provides ticket services to Philippines’ venues including Solaire Resort and Casino, Resorts World Manila, BGC Arts Center and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
What we can say is that the last 12 months have seen no sign of the trend for consolidation slowing down – and it may just be hotting up even further
“We see great opportunities in many Asian markets and our strategy puts us on course to becoming a truly pan-Asian promoter,” said TEG CEO Geoff Jones at the time.
While not strictly new acquisitions, DEAG continued its policy of wholly owning companies by completing the purchase of the MyTicket platform, which going forward will be powered by the Secutix SaaS solution, while Eventim completed its takeover of German online movie ticketing platform Kinoheld and Scandinavian ticketing solution Venuepoint.
So what’s next? In the fast-moving world of ticketing, it’s hard to say.
India’s BookMyShow sells some 20m tickets a month, mainly in the cinema sector, but is looking to grow further into live entertainment. In 2018, COO of non-films at BookMyShow Albert Almeida told the Economic Times the firm wants to increase its revenues from non-cinema events from 30% to 50% by 2020.
It is one of the ticketing partners at the newly opened Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai and is addressing a lack of infrastructure in its home country by building its touring venues and producing its own shows. At a recent fundraising round, the company was valued at $1 billion, and there is still huge potential in the country of 1.3bn people. But maybe it will look to acquire in new markets, or further consolidate its position in the Middle East.
Another interesting area is the growing trend of Chinese companies taking an interest in Western music companies (for example, Tencent acquired a 10% stake in Universal Music, with an option to take another 10% in a year). Could we see a Chinese firm take an interest in a ticketing company outside of its homeland?
What we can say is that the last 12 months have seen no sign of the trend for consolidation slowing down – and it may just be hotting up even further.
For more insight into the state of the global ticketing industry, read IQ’s International Ticketing Yearbook 2019.
Investcorp acquires Italy’s Vivaticket
Bahrain-based Investcorp, an alternative investment specialist, has acquired Italian ticketing software provider Ticket Holding, known as Vivaticket.
Investcorp, which acquired a minority stake in United Talent Agency last year, is buying Vivaticket from co-founders Luca Montebugnoli and Luana Sabattini, as well as board members Giuseppe Camillo Pilenga and Stefano Landi.
Financial details for the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the year, have not been disclosed.
Both co-founders and the Vivaticket management team will remain involved in the company, holding “a meaningful stake”.
The Bologna-headquartered company works with more than 2,100 clients across 50 countries, including Disney World and FC Barcelona, and has provided ticketing services for live events including Vasco Rossi’s record-breaking show in Modena Park (225,000 tickets sold) and tour dates by ACDC, Queen, Bruce Springsteen and Renato Zero.
“Vivaticket is a formidable customer-oriented software solutions provider with an impressive and entrepreneurial management team,” says Daniel Lopez-Cruz, head of Investcorp’s European private equity group.
“Investcorp […] will be able to further accelerate the growth of Vivaticket with the aim of competing amongst the top three players globally”
“As global demand for entertainment and experiential content continues to increase, Vivaticket is ideally positioned to capitalise on multiple growth opportunities that directly align with Investcorp’s investment expertise.”
Lopez-Cruz states the partnership will support Vivaticket’s “international growth” alluding to “add-on acquisitions” that will “expand the company’s geographic footprint and further strengthen its presence in existing markets.”
“Investcorp is a distinguished and highly professional partner that, together with the existing management team, will be able to further accelerate the growth of Vivaticket with the aim of competing amongst the top three players globally,” comments Vivaticket co-founder Montebugnoli.
The Vivaticket executive stresses that the company’s “ethical and professional principles”, “technological innovation” and the “ability to attract talent” will remain at the core of the business.
Vivaticket, formerly Best Union, is one of three leading primary ticketing companies in Italy, along with CTS Eventim’s TicketOne and Live Nation’s Ticketmaster Italy. The company absorbed rival BookingShow in 2018.
With established operations in ten countries across Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia Pacific, the company has offices in Italy, Spain, Australia, UAE, UK, France, the Unites States and Singapore.
TicketOne: touts thriving under named ticket law
Italy’s largest primary ticketing service, TicketOne, has once again criticised national communications regulator AGCOM for its lack of action against secondary sites, highlighting the “significant failing” of the newly introduced named ticket law.
Criticism is levelled at the “foreseeable and forewarned futility” of the regulator’s controversial named ticket law, which was implemented on 1 July. According to TicketOne, the ‘named’ tickets are being sold “widely” on secondary sites.
Additionally, the CTS Eventim-owned company questions AGCOM’s (Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni, Communications Authority) “total lack” of action against secondary sites, following an initial call-to action in March and a follow-up in June, which included a threat to refer AGCOM to the judiciary.
“In light of the documents submitted, and of further concrete evidence immediately available on the sites for anyone who accesses them,” states TicketOne chief executive Stefano Lionetti, “it is not understandable why AGCOM has not intervened – and does not intervene immediately – to crack down on illegal conduct, removing content and shuttering sites, as well as implementing financial penalties.”
“It is not understandable why AGCOM has not intervened and does not intervene immediately to crack down on illegal conduct”
Lionetti states AGCOM is “not exercising the powers granted to it by the Ministry of Economy and Finance,” referencing the stringent anti-ticket touting regulations passed by the Italian government in 2018.
The ticketing site notes that the failure to implement regulations is highlighted by the fact that all cases reported and documented in the initial March complaint were in reference to summer events that have now passed.
“It would therefore now be impossible to fulfil the requests to remove content or shutter the sites, leaving only the possibility of levying fines to mitigate the harm done to consumers, artists and operators in the sector,” reads a TicketOne statement.
TicketOne now urges the timely application of the law in terms of content removal, fines and shuttering of sites, once again not excluding contact with the judicial authorities.
AGCM ordered to return €1m Viagogo fine
The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) must return a €1 million fine to Viagogo, after the Council of State rejected claims made against the secondary ticketing site in 2017.
The watchdog levied fines against Viagogo and three other resale sites in April 2017 for failure to supply transparent information to customers. A year later, the regulator raised the fine against Viagogo to €1 million for lack of compliance.
However, following an appeal by Viagogo, the council ruled that the site is a “passive hosting provider”, and therefore not responsible for ensuring sellers provide all the ticket information required by law.
The council also sided with Viagogo over its self-denomination as an ‘official site’, which many deem misleading to fans who believe they are buying from a legitimate, artist-approved seller.
Allegations related to so-called ‘drip pricing’ – advertising a cheaper price to attract customers before disclosing extra fees – and false claims of scarcity of tickets were similarly rejected.
As a result of its rulings, the court also annulled all fines for non-compliance.
“We have always sought an open dialogue with the AGCM to ensure we are compliant with Italian consumer law”
Viagogo managing director Cris Miller “welcomes” the “landmark judgement from Italy’s highest administrative court.”
“We have always sought an open dialogue with the AGCM to ensure we are compliant with Italian consumer law,” states Miller.
“We look forward to continuing discussions about the positive role viagogo plays in Italy and around the world through our platform.”
The AGCM is no stranger to refunding fines. In 2018, the regulator was ordered to return €1m to CTS Eventim-owned TicketOne, after a court rejected allegations that the ticketing site had made insufficient attempts to prevent its tickets ending up on the secondary market.
Last week, TicketOne chief executive Stefano Lionetti criticised the national communications regulator, AGCOM, for its “failure” to tackle secondary ticketing sites in the country.
TicketOne urges regulator to shutter secondary sites
CTS Eventim-owned TicketOne has threatened to refer Italian communications regulator AGCOM to the judiciary for its “failure” to tackle secondary ticketing sites.
Following a previous call-to-action in March, Italy’s largest primary ticketing provider has sent a formal letter to AGCOM (Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni) indicating its dissatisfaction with the regulator’s efforts to implement national laws against for-profit secondary ticketing.
“TicketOne notes that, despite the time elapsed since the presentation of the (March) complaint and AGCOM’s reported start of activities, illegal activities continue to be safely carried out in plain sight.
“The online platforms of three secondary ticketing sites – all referred to in the complaint – as well as individuals selling tickets, continue to operate in total disregard of the regulations.”
According to TicketOne chief executive Stefano Lionetti, so far “nothing has been done” by AGCOM to tackle secondary ticketing.
“We reserve the right to report the failure to implement these measures to the legal authorities”
“We reserve the right to report the failure to implement these measures to the legal authorities, avoiding further delay to the full exercising of AGCOM’s powers,” says the TicketOne chief.
The Italian government placed a ban on most for-profit secondary ticketing in March 2018, granting AGCOM the authority to punish offenders and shutter websites repeatedly infringing the law.
TicketOne’s renewed and reinforced appeal to AGCOM comes as the 1 July deadline for the introduction of named ticketing approaches. The move, which TicketOne deems “ineffective” and “highly disruptive”, sees the personalisation of all tickets for over 5,000-capacity shows.
“The punishing of sites and individuals dedicated to the illegal resale of tickets is the most important – and according to many operators, the only – needed to stop this harmful conduct for both the industry and the public,” reads the letter.
In March 2018, AGCM, Italy’s competition regulator, imposed a €1 million fine on TicketOne for allegedly facilitating illicit ticket resale. A court later rejected the claims, ordering the regulator to refund the fine and all legal costs.
Industry still against Italy named ticket law
TicketOne, Italy’s largest primary ticket seller, has called on communications regulator AGCOM to properly enforce the country’s stringent anti-ticket touting regulations, ahead of the controversial introduction of named tickets for all large shows this July.
With the exception of those who resell tickets on “an occasional and non-commercial basis”, for-profit secondary ticketing was effectively outlawed in Italy in March 2018, with AGCOM (Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni, Communications Authority) empowered to go after offenders, and even shut down websites which continually break the new law. The restrictions followed a previous, ultimately abandoned, attempt to crack down on ticket touting (bagarinaggio), spearheaded former culture minister Dario Franceschini, in late 2016.
Commenting on the decision to file a legal petition with AGCOM, Stefano Lionetti, CEO of CTS Eventim-owned TicketOne, says: “[T]here is a good law in place, one of the clearest and most advanced in Europe, and the time has come to enforce it. Although the phenomenon of ticket touting has decreased markedly, there are still three clearly identifiable sites [Viagogo, StubHub/Ticketbis and MyWayTicket] that continue to speculate on the resale of tickets.”
TicketOne’s intervention comes as the Italian industry braces for the introduction of personalised tickets for all shows over 5,000 capacity on 1 July – introduced by Five Star Movement deputy Sergio Battelli as a means to further control the secondary market, but which has been consistently opposed by the majority of the business, who warn of disruption, queues and rising ticket prices.
Speaking today (29 March) at a press conference in Milan, Grancini continued: “We expect that the measures provided, if consistently and promptly applied, can definitively defeat the phenomenon. This is why we request policymakers and institutions to reopen the discussion [on the Battelli amendment] in order to minimise the inconvenience for the public, and the risks for businesses. We hope this will lead to a reflection on the actual need to introduce personalised tickets this coming July.”
“This amendment … will only generate chaos”
“We are opposed to any form of bagarinaggio, but consumers must know that with the introduction of named tickets from 1 July, ticket costs will increase, changing the user’s name will not be a quick procedure, and it will create more queues at [venue] entrances,” comments Vincenzo Spera, president of promoters’ association Assomusica, which also opposed the Battelli law.
“This amendment, approved in the government’s last budget law as a tool to combat the phenomenon of secondary ticketing, will only generate chaos,” Spera continues. “In order to carry out the necessary checks, event organisers will have to open the gates a long time before the show, employer more staff over several shifts. These costs will be paid by the those who buy the ticket; queues and waiting times will increase, especially during major events; and consumers will no longer be able to give a ticket to a family member, friend or relative.”
“Our mission has always been to facilitate and protect the public, and this is why we have submitted the petition to AGCOM: to protect honest consumers who should be guaranteed maximum ease of access to events,” said TicketOne general manager Andrea Grancini, who added that if the Battelli law is introduced in July, “two out of three tickets available on TicketOne channels will be personalised”.
Assomusica, which represents around 80% of Italy’s concert industry, instead proposes shutting down ticket resale sites and prosecuting those who break existing laws – rather than introducing new regulations that would “harm those who produce culture and […] wealth” for Italy.
Italian watchdog ordered to repay €1m to TicketOne
The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) has been ordered to return €1 million to TicketOne, as well as refund all legal expenses, after an Italian court rejected earlier claims by AGCM the company had not done enough to prevent the resale of its tickets on the secondary market.
TicketOne, owned by Germany’s CTS Eventim, was fined €1m last April for allegedly failing to take adequate measures to prevent tickets getting into the hands of touts. The competition watchdog found that while that while TicketOne is “contractually bound to adopt anti-touting measures, [it] did not take appropriate steps to prevent bulk buying through specialist software, nor has it tried to limit multiple purchases or set up a system of ex-post controls to cancel them”.
Four secondary ticketing sites – Viagogo, MyWayTicket, Live Nation’s Seatwave and eBay/StubHub’s Ticketbis – were additionally hit with a collective €700,000 fine for their failure to provide complete ticket information to customers.
However, in a ruling on Friday (2 March), the regional administrative court of Lazio, sided with TicketOne’s argument that it has “always operated with utmost care and diligence, and that its business conduct did not favour the secondary market”, and ordered AGCM to refund the the €1m, along with its legal costs.
“The ruling underlines that our company has always operated with transparency and professionalism”
“We have always distanced ourselves from unlawful and speculative business practices that occur within the secondary ticketing market,” says Stefano Lionetti, CEO of TicketOne. “Therefore, we are very satisfied that the court confirmed that the allegations made against us were wrongful.
“Over and above, the ruling underlines that our company has always operated with transparency and professionalism.”
While TicketOne says it already has “high security standards in place” to prevent automated software, or bots, from bulk-buying its tickets, it has announce plans to “expand on its efforts” against speculative ticket resale. The company “asks fans and concertgoers not to purchase tickets from secondary market sites and to only make use of licensed ticket sellers and official dealers.”
TicketOne parent company CTS Eventim has been investing heavily in Italy recently, last month making its third acquisition – of promoter Di and Gi – in five months.
CTS acquires majority stake in Friends and Partners
CTS Eventim is to acquire a 60% stake in Ferdinando Salzano’s Friends and Partners, further strengthening its position in the Italian market.
The German live entertainment giant has had a presence in Italy since 2007, when it bought a share of ticketing market leader TicketOne, and in September acquired Italian promoter Vertigo.
Friends and Partners, formed in 2001 as F&P Group, represents more than 40 Italian artists, organising tours by stars including Il Volo, Claudio Baglioni, Ligabue, Nek and Laura Pausini, formerly in partnership with Warner Music. The company also produces concert films and music TV formats for all major Italian TV stations.
By joining CTS Eventim, Friends and Partners will be able to take advantage of Eventim’s global reach, says CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg.
“There are many artists that have long been addressing an international audience and who plan their live performances without paying heed to national borders,” comments Schulenberg. “Our aim is to offer them Europe-wide touring opportunities and efficient ticketing services under the CTS Eventim umbrella. For that reason, we are constantly reviewing options for expanding our portfolio.
“I am looking forward to the various opportunities the partnership with a global player like CTS Eventim will provide us”
“I am delighted that with this transaction we further strengthen our market position in Italy.”
Friends and Partners founder Salzano, who will continue to manage the company from its offices in Milan, adds: “I am looking forward very much to the various opportunities that the partnership with a global player like CTS Eventim will provide us and I thank Klaus-Peter Schulenberg and his team for the confidence they place in us. Our joint aim is to project the Friends & Partners success story into the future.
“At the same time, my colleagues and I will remain true to our mission, which is to offer artists, managers and producers a home that helps them realise their creative ambitions. I also extend my thanks at this point to my companions at Warner Music, who have passionately supported and advised my team and myself for almost a decade. I am certain that our paths will cross on various projects in the future.”