Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ticketmaster: Competition Commission smile

It's the most wonderful time of the year; the time when people slip out unpopular announcements in the hope that nobody notices.

Like the Competition Commission's decision that, actually, the creation of a Ticketmaster/LiveNation behemoth won't crush the customers under its weight:

[A]fter lobbying from the two companies which argued that critics had overstated their influence in the music industry, the commission dropped its opposition. Christopher Clarke, deputy chair of the commission, admitted it was "unusual" for the competition watchdog to change its mind in this way.

A key plank in the commission's ruling was the damage that could be caused to German ticketing firm CTS Eventim, which signed a deal with Live Nation to expand into the UK in 2007. Now, though, the commission has accepted Live Nation's argument that CTS will not lose out, and that it would be complicated and unfair to force the merged entity to sell off its UK ticketing arm.

Oh, it would be complicated, would it? Oh, how frightfully rotten that would be. You wouldn't want to make the otherwise completely zipless union of two totally separate companies to become a little complicated, would you? Not if the only thing it would do would be to stop a massive corporation stitching up the live music market in the UK.