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Watchdog escalates probe into Viagogo-StubHub merger

UNITED KINGDOM -
World News
July 11, 2020

A PHASE 2 in-depth investigation into the $4.05 billion merger of the two biggest secondary ticketing operators, Viagogo and StubHub, is to be underyaken by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

It launched an initial Phase 1 investigation last December and announced its findings in early June. It said the merging of Viagogo and StubHub, previously owned by eBay, which collectively represent 80 per cent of the UK’s ticket re-sale market, would potentially result in higher prices and reduced choice for consumers.

Viagogo was given until 18 June to address the CMA’s concerns and was asked to deliver a tramsparent solution that would preserve effective competition in the secondary market. Viagogo failed to do so.

Adam Webb of anti-ticket touting campaigner FanFair Alliance welcomes the decision and claims Viagogo’s treatment of ticket-buyers has been scandalous. 

Even in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, the thought of such a business monopolising for-profit secondary ticketing remains highly problematic.

“Viagogo’s predatory marketing practices and business model continue to endanger audiences, and its acquisition of StubHub raises acute competition concerns, particularly in the UK. 

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