Deal referred to Competitions Commission

The enormous merger deal between Ticketmaster and Live Nation may have hit the rocks, the the British Competitions Commission set to intervene.

With download culture changing the music industry in ways those involved simply cannot predict, many bands are turning towards touring as a means of making a living. This summer alone Oasis, Blur, Michael Jackson and many more will launch spectacular tours in some of the nation's biggest venues.

Two of the biggest promotions companies on the planet are due to merge, with Ticketmaster and Live Nation becoming one almighty live music giant. The pair have made several in roads into the music industry in recent years, and the $700 million merger could have massive effects on music fans.

Ticketmaster were responsible for organising Bruce Springsteen's last tour of the United States, however the firm caused no end of controversy by directing fans to an auction website. The singer intervened with a strongly worded statement, insisting that he had no knowledge this would take place.

The firm apologised, but a series of high profile blunders are thought to be behind the merger with Live Nation.

Once a simple promotions firm, Live Nation have become a massive entertainment behemoth. Amongst the acts set to release material through the firm are Madonna, U2, Jay-Z and many more.

However the merger has been thrown into doubt after the deal was recommended to the Competition Commission by the Office of Fair Trading.

According to a statement from the organisation, the OFT is worried that the deal will create a massive conglomerate which could push smaller firms out of business.

"The OFT believes that there is a realistic prospect of a substantial lessening of competition resulting from the proposed merger," a statement said.

Dave Newton, business development director at rival ticket agency WeGotTickets, said that the merger would see music fans losing out, reports BBC News.

"If you go wanted to see U2 for example, then you would have the same company which owned the rights to the artist, might well own the venue, is the promoter and is selling tickets on the primary and secondary markets as well," he explained. "There's not much room for competitive pricing in that chain, and I really can't see the upside for fans."

On the other side of the Atlantic, a United States Justice Department investigation into the merger is ongoing.

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