AEG’s deal to manage Wembley Arena has been provisionally cleared by the Competition Commission.
The live promoter signed a management agreement with the venue’s owner Quintain Estates & Development earlier this year, replacing Live Nation Entertainment.
However, The OFT raised concerns about the deal over fears that it could lead to further dominance of London venues by the US firm and drive ticket prices higher. The promoter already owns London’s O2 Arena and Hammersmith Apollo as well as recently picking up the contract for Hyde Park concerts.
The independent public body has now concluded it would not result in a “substantial lessening of competition”.
CC deputy chairman and chairman of the AEG/Wembley inquiry group, Martin Cave said: “AEG’s opportunity to increase venue prices would be limited given that other factors are more important and that any negotiation on price takes place after the venue has been confirmed.”
The CC also found that the “merged entity” would not have the financial incentive to use its position to harm its competitors, as it would “suffer significant short-term losses in pursuit of very uncertain long-term gains”.
Any interested party has until August 13 to respond to the provisional findings ahead of the CC’s final report which must be published by September 5.
Source: Competition Commission