8 March 2006
Ticketmaster cleared by Irish Competition Authority
Following a lengthy investigation under domestic competition rules, the Irish Competition Authority has cleared the business practices of Ticketmaster Ireland. It concluded that Ticketmaster’s long-term exclusive agreements with clients including Ireland’s two largest promoters did not foreclose competition. Though Ticketmaster Ireland currently accounts for 100% of the narrow market for ticketing services defined by the Authority, the Authority concluded that Ticketmaster faces effective competitive constraints, as competition was primarily for, rather than in the market. As such, the decision represents a clear move in favour of an effects-based assessment of such contractual restrictions. RBB provided economic advice to Ticketmaster, working closely with in-house counsel for Ticketmaster and lawyers McCann Fitzgerald. The Authority’s full decision can be downloaded below.