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German regulator blocks CTS Eventim’s acquisition of Four Artists

By | Published on Tuesday 28 November 2017


Germany’s competition regulator has blocked CTS Eventim from acquiring Berlin-based booking agency Four Artists over concerns about the ticketing firm’s dominance in the country’s live industry. Among the artists represented by Four Artists are David Guetta, James Blunt, Giggs, Chase & Status and Best Coast.

The President of Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, Andreas Mundt, noted in a statement that: “CTS Eventim is already the market leader in Germany and by far the largest ticket system. In addition, it has already integrated various tour operators into its group structure in the past”. Mundt’s office then added that the Four Artists acquisition “would strengthen CTS’s existing dominant position [in the ticketing market] thereby significantly hindering effective competition in the affected markets”.

“With Four Artists, CTS Eventim would integrate a major event organiser into its group, locking additional ticket allocations of between 500,000 and one million tickets per year to its own system”, it went on. “The expansion possibilities for competing ticket system providers would thereby be weakened”.

The Federal Cartel Office is also currently pursuing legal action against CTS Eventim in Germany, accusing the company of abusing its position by signing exclusivity deals with promoters and such like.

Speaking to IQ, a spokesperson for CTS Eventim said that the company is considering appealing the decision to block the acquisition, which was first announced in March this year.

“We have taken note of the decision by the Cartel Office and are currently examining the grounds for said decision”, they said. “We believe that the takeover of Four Artists is eligible for approval and therefore reserve the right to seek legal remedies against the ruling”.