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Competition regulator to investigate Live Nation’s MCD acquisition

By | Published on Thursday 16 May 2019

Live Nation

The UK’s Competition & Markets Authority has announced it will investigate the acquisition of Irish concert promoter MCD Productions by London-based Live Nation subsidiary LN-Gaiety Holdings. Somewhat confusingly, LN-Gaiety Holdings is Live Nation’s joint venture with Gaiety, which is, well, owner of MCD Productions.

Live Nation has had a long-standing partnership with Gaiety, the company owned by Denis Desmond and his wife Caroline Downey. Many of Live Nation’s acquisitions in the UK in recent years have actually been via the LN-Gaiety joint venture, and Desmond himself now heads up the live giant’s UK and Ireland operations.

But MCD, the concerts company Desmond co-founded in 1980, has not previously been part of the partnership. However, last August it was announced that a new deal would see MCD also become part of the LN-Gaiety JV.

The Irish competition regulator is already investigating the impact that deal might have on Ireland’s live music sector and whether it raises any competition law concerns. Now the UK regulator will do likewise.

It said yesterday: “The Competition And Markets Authority is considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect … may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services”.

The regulator is now inviting input from any interested stakeholders on the possible impact of the deal and has until 11 Jul to decide whether there are sufficient concerns to instigate a more thorough investigation.