British regulator the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating the merger of secondary ticketing firms Viagogo and StubHub. Its latest update on the investigation isn’t good news for those companies.
The CMA says it is “concerned that the loss of competition brought about by the merger could result in customers who buy and resell tickets losing out as a result of higher prices and fewer options”. It notes that in the UK, the two companies’ combined share of the secondary ticketing market is more than 80%, making them “close competitors in an already very concentrated market with limited alternatives”.
Viagogo has been given five days to “address the CMA’s concerns by offering remedial undertakings” in an effort to stave off a second phase of the investigation. “For the CMA to accept undertakings, viagogo would need to deliver a clear-cut solution that will preserve effective competition in the UK market. If viagogo is unable to do so, the deal will be referred for an in-depth (Phase 2) investigation.” The news has been welcomed by anti-touting organisation FanFair Alliance.