For the international contemporary live music industry

Madison Square-Straples dispute: no change until MSG lifts ban, says AEG

World News
December 3, 2017

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has confirmed it will not be investigating global promoter and venue operator AEG over its co-ordinated booking policy.

Earlier this year AEG announced that acts looking to play London’s The O2 (cap. 21,000) would also need to play its Staples Center (20,000) in Los Angeles (see Audience issue 210), rather than rival arena The Forum (17,500).


The move was a response to New York’s Madison Square Garden Company and offshoot Azoff MSG Entertainment, suggesting they would restrict dates at Madison Square Garden (19,000) for artistes who chose the Staples Center instead The Forum.

The dispute became further complicated when non-executive chairman of Live Nation Entertainment in the UK, Denis Desmond, lodged a complaint against AEG with the CMA, claiming its policy violated anti-trust and competition laws (see Audience issue 211).

However a spokesman for the CMA has confirmed to Audience that it will not be investigating the issue.

“Following their consideration of Live Nation’s complaint regarding our joint booking policy, we can confirm that the UK Competition Authority has decided not to open an investigation,” says an AEG statement. “We are pleased with the CMA’s decision – it is the conclusion we always expected them to reach.”

AEG chairman Jay Marciano has said the policy will only come to end when AEG tours are no longer blocked from playing Madison Square Garden.

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