(Adds Viagogo’s comment, details on CMA’s probe, background)
Feb 2 (Reuters) - Viagogo must sell StubHub’s international business, Britain’s competition watchdog said on Tuesday, after a probe found that its $4.05 billion purchase of eBay’s ticket reselling unit would reduce competition in the UK.
The Competition and Markets Authority, which started its probe in April last year, said the merger could lead to higher fees or poorer service in the future.
The international business of StubHub, which refers to its operations outside of North America, would need to be independently owned and run by a separate company, the CMA said, adding that it will need to approve who acquires the business. (bit.ly/3cwPAVu)
“We are pleased to have found a remedy that is acceptable to the CMA that will allow everyone involved to move forward with clarity and certainty,” Viagogo said.
The CMA said it will determine key conditions of the sale, including the right of the purchaser to use the StubHub brand for the next 10 years.
The regulator also said it had been mindful of the significant impact of COVID-19 on the live events industry, but added that Viagogo and StubHub have a combined market share of more than 90% in the UK and would remain important competitors as and when the industry recovers.
StubHub’s ticketing business operates in North America, the UK and several countries in Europe, South America and Asia.
Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong and Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Vinay Dwivedi