June 25, 2020 / 1:50 PM / 11 days ago

Viagogo's StubHub deal faces in-depth UK competition probe

(Reuters) - UK’s competition watchdog said on Thursday it will launch an in-depth investigation into ticket reseller Viagogo’s $4.05 billion deal for the ticketing unit of U.S. e-commerce company eBay Inc after the firms failed to address its initial concerns.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it had decided to move to a "Phase 2" investigation as the proposals offered by Viagogo and the eBay unit, StubHub, were "not a clear-cut solution" to the concerns it had raised regarding the acquisition. (reut.rs/382CkU8)

The regulator started its initial probe in April and earlier this month gave the companies a week’s time to submit proposals to allay its concerns.

CMA then said the deal would provide the companies a market share of more than 80% of UK’s secondary ticketing market. It also said customers could lose out as a result of higher prices in particular and fewer options.

Viagogo and StubHub said they would continue to work with the regulator during the review.

“During this period, the StubHub and Viagogo brands and operations will continue to be held separate as agreed with the CMA,” a StubHub spokeswoman said.

Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Sriraj Kalluvila

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