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Live Nation-Ticketmaster Merger Wrinkle in U.K.


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In a move setting up possible future concessions in the European market, an English appellate body has instructed the U.K.'s Competition Commission to mount a new review of the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger.

The Competition Appeal Tribunal on Thursday set aside the independent review body's unconditional Dec. 22 approval of the splicing of the concert promotion giant and the top ticketing-management firm. The matter was referred back to the Competition Commission, and a new decision is expected within three months.

In the U.S., the merger received Department of Justice approval on Jan. 25, following a proposed settlement of a civil suit that required the merged firms, now known as Live Nation Entertainment, to sell off some interests and institute market concessions.

U.K. move follows an appeal by Bremen, Germany-based ticketing company and concert promoter CTS Eventim, one of Ticketmaster's top Europe-based competitors.

In an initial October ruling opposing the merger, the commission had said the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger could impede Eventim's entry into the U.K. ticketing market.

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