The AIF had called for a review into Live Nation’s “dominance” of the UK’s live music sector, stating that the American event promoter controls over a quarter of UK festivals with a capacity of over 5,000.
Live Nation owns or controls 25.6% of UK 5,000+ capacity festivals, three times more than its nearest rival, Global, which controls 8% through promoter, Broadwick Live.
The AIF has called Live Nation’s power “detrimental” to the independent festival market.
The DCMS Select Committee report covered issues regarding ticketing platforms, legislation and venue closures. It called for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to conduct a study to assess whether competition in the industry is working effectively for consumers and workers alike.
However, the government responded that the CMA is an independent regulator and “takes its own decisions regarding market studies.”
It continued: “It should be recalled that in 2016 Professor Waterson undertook a Government Review of consumer protection measures in the ticketing market more generally, which of course is of significant interest to the music industry. A key recommendation was that the laws which were put in place should be applied and tested.
“In its 2017 response, the Government agreed and the CMA and the National Trading Standards Board (NTSB) have subsequently worked together to take enforcement action against ticketing platforms and sellers where necessary. This has had some impact on the information provided to consumers, but work is ongoing.”
AIF CEO, Paul Reed, said the response was pitiful: “Referring to the Waterson Report avoids the breadth and depth of the issues AIF has outlined in terms of the widespread dominance of a single company, Live Nation across the live music sector.
“Professor Waterson’s remit was focused firmly on secondary ticketing. The report did look at primary ticketing, but not to the extent this response implies. Regardless, it is well established that competition issues in the live music sector go way beyond ticketing and we will continue to ring the alarm bells around the systemic issues arising from the increasing grip of vertically integrated major corporations along the live music supply chain and the effect this has on competition. The problem is only going to get worse if it is not addressed properly and swiftly. We will be writing to the relevant Government Ministers accordingly.”
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