The UK competition watchdog is to launch a deeper investigation into Viagogo’s £3.2 billion acquisition of ticket resale rival Stubhub amid continuing concerns.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said on Thursday that it concluded the deal could “result in a substantial lessening of competition” in the secondary ticketing market.
Earlier this month, it warned the move could lead to higher ticket prices for customers following an initial probe and called on the firms to assuage its concerns.
However, the CMA said it will now undertake an in-depth phase two investigation of the acquisition.
The regulator said that proposals offered by Viagogo and StubHub were “not a clear-cut solution” to its concerns.
Earlier this month, Andrea Gomes da Silva, CMA’s executive director for markets and mergers, said: “Viagogo is already the largest secondary ticketing company in the UK by some considerable margin and has purchased an established rival, with no other significant competitors in the market.
“We are therefore concerned that this transaction could lead to customers losing out through higher prices, less innovation and a lack of real choice.”
A Viagogo spokeswoman said: “As we have throughout this process, we will continue to work diligently with the CMA during phase two of their review.
“We remain committed to our belief that the combination of the two companies is a good move for customers worldwide.”
In January, the CMA also warned StubHub it could be “breaking consumer law” and told the company to make changes to its site or risk court action.