March 22, 2013 22:05

Office Of Fair Trading to investigate AEG's Wembley Arena takeover

Promoters AEG also run London's O2 Arena and Hammersmith Apollo

Office Of Fair Trading to investigate AEG's Wembley Arena takeover

Photo: Andrew Kendall

The Office Of Fair Trading is set to investigate AEG's takeover of London's Wembley Arena.

The live music promoters have been referred to the Competition Commission over fears that their increasing monopoly on large venues in the capital will lead to higher ticket prices.

AEG also runs London's O2 Arena and Hammersmith Apollo and has the contract for concerts held over the summer in Hyde Park.

The Guardian reports that the Office Of Fair Trading today (March 22) said that they will be looking into AEG's Wembley Arena takeover "due to concerns the merger may substantially reduce competition in the live entertainment venue sector".

Commenting on the fact that AEG will now operate the two largest London indoor venues, Jackie Holland, senior director at the Office Of Fair Trading continued: "This merger would result in a major consolidation of the indoor spaces where large concerts, sports and other shows can be held in the capital and may result in higher costs for promoters to hire suitable venues, which ultimately may be passed on to consumers in the form of higher ticket prices".

"As such, we believe it is appropriate that the Competition Commission reviews this merger in detail to ensure that the interests of consumers are protected".

The Competition Commission will report back by September 5.

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