U.K. in harmony with music merger

Ticketmaster, Live Nation pass anti-trust test

The proposed merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation received a big boost in the U.K. on Tuesday when it won official approval from Blighty’s Competition Commission.

The latest ruling overturns a provisional decision made in October by the commission that a merger between the two companies could limit competition in live-music ticket sales.

The merger will not result in a substantial lessening of competition in the market for live-music ticket retailing or in any other market in the U.K., including live-music promotion and live-music venues,” the regulator said in a statement issued Tuesday.

The ruling was greeted warmly by execs at both Ticketmaster and Live Nation.

We are very pleased with the Competition Commission’s decision to clear the merger,” said Chris Edmonds, Ticketmaster U.K.’s managing director. “Today’s clearance is an important milestone in the regulatory review process, and brings the companies a step closer to creating a new kind of live-entertainment business.”

The music industry has struggled to cope with the onset of the Internet and digital technology as album sales continue to decline and far greater emphasis is put on artists’ touring. Live Nation has inked a number of multimillion-dollar deals with the likes of Madonna and Jay-Z in recent months.

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