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CMA approves AEG/SMG venues merger

By | Published on Thursday 12 September 2019


The UK’s Competition & Markets Authority has approved the merger of mega venue operators AEG Facilities and SMG. Meanwhile, according to Billboard, similar approval is incoming from the Department Of Justice in the US.

Venues is the side of the business where AEG out-performs its global live music rival Live Nation. Meanwhile, SMG is another major player in venue management, mainly in the US, though some European markets too. Its UK operations include arenas in Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Hull.

When the two companies announced the plan to merge their venue operations back in February they called it a “major step for our industry”. But rivals on both sides of the Atlantic raised competition law concerns, with the CMA confirming it was investigating the deal back in April.

However, yesterday the UK regulator confirmed that it was approving the transaction. No more details about that decision are available as yet, but the CMA says more information will follow in due course. For its part, AEG said it was “pleased” with the ruling.

As for the US investigation, Billboard reports that “the deal has also been cleared by the DoJ … and a formal closing of the agreement is expected early next month”.

As a result of the deal a new company called ASM Global will be created, with AEG and SMG owner Onex each controlled 50% of its stock. Not all of AEG’s venue operations will sit under the new business, though plenty will.