In the News

Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) intervenes in Viagogo's takeover of StubHub

Ollie Gardner

2nd February 2021

This is a great example of UK competition policy in action to protect consumers from higher prices resulting from less competition after mergers and acquisitions.

An announcement by the CMA, the body responsible for promoting competition and protecting consumers' interests in the UK, states:

'The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has concluded that the merger between viagogo and StubHub will lead to a substantial reduction in competition in the secondary ticketing market in the UK. This could lead to customers who use secondary ticketing platforms facing higher fees or poorer service in future.

To address this concern, the CMA is requiring viagogo to sell StubHub’s business outside North America.'This is known as divestment.

The requirement for StubHub to sell its international business outside of North America, which includes its UK operations, will prevent the top two second hand ticket platforms in the UK being owned by the same firm.

This would have created a substantial monopoly, potentially leading to the firm restricting output and raising prices - eating into consumer surplus and creating a significant deadweight loss.

Ollie Gardner

Ollie is a new economics teacher at an academically selective school having previously worked in the healthcare technology industry.

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