Monday, 30 September 2013


Farewell to Ray Dolby,the billionaire audio engineer and the  inventor of the Dolby Noise Reduction (NR) system. he has died at the age of 80. 

Jackie Lomax, former front man with Merseybeat band The Undertakers and the first artist signed to the Beatle's Apple label, has died aged 69.

Prince Jazzbo, the Jamaican reggae singer who pioneered 'toasting' - the genre that influenced rapping and hip hop. Jazzbo hs died aged just 62 from lung cancer. He ran his own Ujama label and had a string of hits including Crab walking, Penny Reel and Croaking Lizard.

Eamonn O'Connnor, Managing Director of Ticketmaster Ireland has died aged 51 after a short illness.

Roger Pope, the drummer who played on six of Elton John's albums, worked with artists such as Hall &Oates, Al Stewart, Buddy Guy, Chris Darrow and Cliff Richard, and had his own band HookFoot, has died aged 66.

And farewell to Pat Fear (52) the American punk rock musician with White Flag, Lorne Black, the American bassist with Great White, Gia Maione Prima the jazz singer and wife of singer Louis Prima, Lindsay Cooper (62), the British rock and jazz bassoonist and oboist  with Henry Cow and Comus, Mac Curtis (74) the American rockabilly singer and Jimmy Ponder, the American jazz guitarist.

And farewell to Allan Dann, Peermusic's long standing Business Affairs & International Copyrights Manager, who had been at the company for a remarkable 44 years and who recently died. 

Artist manager, former ITB agent and founder of Brighton Rock Music Pete Fountain has died aged 61. His family have requested anyone wishing to pay tribute to Fountain make a donation to one of three charities close to his heart, either the Sussex Wildlife Trust, Free Tibet or The Badger Trust.

Charity night in tribute to Jon Brookes
Liam Gallagher, The Chemical Brothers and members of The Vaccines and New Order will all play at a charity night dedicated to late Charlatans drummer Jon Brookes at the Royal Albert Hall on 18 Oct. proceeds will go to The Brain Tumour Charity. 

Warehouse death and illnesses blamed on drugs

Police investigating the death of a man who died at a Warehouse Project night in Manchester on Friday 27th September are said to be considering the theory that a "bad batch of drugs" could be the cause. Five other clubbers were also hospitalised after taking a drug, thought to be ecstasy.

It has previously been confirmed that two deaths at the Electric Zoo festival in New York last month were drug-related. As previously reported, the third day of the EDM festival was cancelled after the deaths. The New York City medical examiner’s office confirmed that both Olivia Rotondo and Jeffrey Russ, both in their early 20s, died from overdoses of MDMA combined with hyperthermia on the second day of the event.

SFX pitched at $1.1 billion

SFX, which has been on an recent acquisition spree, mainly buying up EDM live enterprises, has filed papers confirming plans to raise up to $200 million by selling off a slice of the company via the NASDAQ stock exchange - valuing the company at $1.1 billion.  The company recently noted that drug related incidents at EDM events could have negative impact on commercial dance music enterprises, especially where brand partnerships are a key revenue stream. 

New research points to the future of radio

New research  that analyses internet radio listening in the US (including traditional radio services online, Pandora-style 'interactive radio' and Spotify-like on-demand streaming services) has given the results of a survey 3000 web users, concluding that internet radio was now the third most popular way that people discover new music (ahead of YouTube and social media), that 32% of internet radio listeners were listening to "a lot" more online radio content now than a year ago, and that 26% said that they were listening to online radio services during time when previously they wouldn't have listened to any audio at all. And it's interactive radio services like Pandora, iHeartRadio and, now, iTunes Radio, still dominate in the US market. While 53% of Americans now use some kind of internet radio service, according to the survey, 39% are using interactive radio, 27% streaming traditional radio online, and 18% accessing fully on-demand music services.

The reserach was commissioned by the Streaming Audio Task Force, which includes Pandora, Spotify and radio-station aggregator app TuneIn.

Stewart launches new bank at the Reeperbahn festival

Dave Stewart used his keynote speech 'Where is the Money' at the Reeperbahn festival and conference in Hamburg to launch plans for a new bank, to be called First Artist Bank, which will offer services designed to ensure fellow musicians "don't sign stupid deals".  Stewart said the inspiration for the bank, of which he will be co-chairman, is Farmers Bank in the US. His project partner and co-chairman of First Artist Bank is Michael Philipp, the former chairman and CEO of Credit Suisse Europe, Middle East and Africa and a former senior executive at Deutsche Bank and the new bank will "supply funding and management of digital assets and intellectual property, as well as advice". Stewart said The bank will empower artists in music, film, television and theatre adding "It's a global creative community bank."

Elsewhere Field Fisher Waterhouse lawyer Dr Philipp Plog looked at the future of music on the internet in a session called "When The Levies Break" - asking of copyright levies needed to be reformed in the age of streaming with an excellent  panel with Markus Scheufele from the German telecoms industry, (Referent Urheberrecht, BITKOM) Belgian collection society representative Cees van Rij (Media&Online Manager, SABAM) and from the German independent record labels, Reinher Karl (Justiziar, VUT, DE). Former MTV VJ and now author Steve Blame hosted an impressive panel for his 'Blame n Fame' closing session with Justin Sullivan (Artist, New Model Army), Kevin Godley (Artist / Producer) and Rembert Stiewe (Managing Director, Glitterhouse Records), a panel of Jörg Jelden (Initiator “Agenturen der Zukunft”, BathenJelden), Jeremy Tai Abbett (Creative Evangelist, Google,) and Nina Rieke (Executive Strategy Director, DDB Tribal) joined host Svenja Teichmann (CEO, Crowdmedia) to look at the future of  the agency world is changing and the communications and a very impressive panel of festival bosses with Folkert Koopmans (Managing Director, FKP Scorpio), Eric van Eerdenburg (Managing Director, Lowlands Festival), Baris Basaran (Booker, Pozitif Live), Christof Huber (General Secretary, Yourope and Open Air St Gallen) and Michal Kascak (Managing Director, Pohoda Festival) joined moderator Greg Parmley to look back at the 2013 festival season with particular interest in Basaran's comments that although riots and civil disorder had meant many shows and festivals had to be cancelled in Turkey this summer, a number of artists and agents had paid back 100% of their fees to local promoters.

Musical highlights included new British singer/songwriter Lewis Watson, Birth of Joy from the Netherlands, a Polish showcase featuring OCN, Rebeka, Uniqplan and Iza Lach, a Latvian/Lithuanian showcase with Colours of Bubbles, Alise Joste, GJan and Instrumenti, showcases from 65daysofstatic (UK) The Staves (UK), James Vincent McMorrow (Eire), Funeral Suits (Eire), Black Lizard (Finland) and a private show from platinum album seller James Blunt.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Hard Rock won't Call back

Hard Rock International has confirmed that Hard Rock Calling, won't take place in 2014. Held since  2006 the show was promoted as an alliance between the retro-rock café and Live Nation, and was originally based in Hyde Park, but moved this summer to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Following Hard Rock's announcement, Live Nation issued a statement confirming that it is now seeking a new partner for its 'Calling' festival brand. In a Facebook post the live giant wrote: "Live Nation Entertainment notes today's announcement by Hard Rock International, regarding their decision not to sponsor a rock music event in London in 2014. Following record ticket-demand and audience numbers at festivals this year, Live Nation is exploring new sponsorship partnerships for its highly successful 'Calling' franchise".

Juggalos jiggled by unpaid bills

Insane Clown Posse's annual Gathering Of The Juggalos festival is reportedly struggling financially. According to The Southern, a number of creditors are complaining that they have not been paid in relation to services provided for this year's edition of the festival, while others who have received cheques say that they've bounced. Debts are thought to reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Following reports, the duo's label, Psychopathic Records, issued a statement to The Associated Press saying: "Putting on a five day music festival this ambitious is a very time consuming and expensive process. Unfortunately, in our attempt to provide the best possible event for our fans, expenses exceeded estimates and expectations, which we had not previously planned for. The company putting on the event, Juggalo Gathering Inc, has no intention of turning its back on these financial obligations and is in the process of preparing a plan to take care of all vendors. We thank all of our vendors for their understanding". 

Eurovision hopes rule change will stem vote rigging

Organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest have announced a change to rules to make judging panels more transparent and try and stem the obvious vote rigging between 'blocks'. Under the new rules, the names of the members of each jury in the voting countries will be announced on 1 May and the scoring of each jury member will be made public after the Eurovision final. Eurovision's Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand said: "Tighter rules and increased openness are important for the Eurovision Song Contest to build on its success. To make sure participants, viewers and fans know that we have done and will always do our utmost to secure a fair result. These changes show that the Eurovision Song Contest is an ever evolving tradition, which continues to adapt to the spirit of time". The next Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Denmark on 6, 8 and 10 May next year.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Owzat! Couple settle cricket touting claim

A Marlow based pilot and his wife have settled a potential civil court case action with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for 'industrial scale' touting. Nick Hubscher and his wife Judith were accused of using multiple false names and addresses to buy and 'unlawfully traffic' 800 tickets to England's cricket test matches against Australia at the Oval, Old Trafford and Chester-le-Street in Country Durham. The ECB brought a £50,000 claim after an investigation by the Durham Country Cricket Club and the couple offered no defence, settling for an undisclosed sum. 

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Ringmaster Festival cancelled

The team at Worcestershire's Ringmaster Festival have belatedly cancelled their inaugural event, blaming "financial implications". In a statement issued just ten days before the 27-28 September scheduled show, which would have featured Maximo Park, Swim Deep, Hadouken! and the Mystery Jets, organisers say "as the festival entered the final stages it found itself in a financial position and as a result was no longer able to guarantee the appropriate monies owed to the bands and other parties at this stage. It is after careful consideration that Ringmaster has decided to unfortunately cancel this year's event" adding "Ringmaster would like to thank everyone that has supported, been involved with and help spread the name over the past few months and would like to offer everyone their sincere apologies, in what has become a horrendous and saddening situation".

Pandora looks to raise new funding

VentureBeat reports that Pandora Media, the music streaming service, has decided to sell 10 million shares of its common stock which is expected to bring in $230.8 million (assuming a share price of $23.99). The stock sale will also include 4 million shares from CrossCapital Inc., the largest stakeholder in Pandora.  The company recently announced the appointment of Brian McAndrews to the role of President and CEO.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Cher says "nyet" to Sochi

Cher has said that she has refused the opportunity to perform at the upcoming Winter Olympics, due to host nation Russia's controversial anti-gay laws. The country's 'gay propaganda' laws make it illegal to 'promote' homosexuality to minors. Madonna and Lady Gaga are both accused of having contravened the laws when performing in Russia last year. It has also been said by one of the key writers and proponents of the law, Vitaly Milonov, that gay athletes and attendees of the Winter Games could face arrest if they are open about their sexuality.  The 22nd Winter Olympics, are scheduled to take place 7th to 23rd February 2014, in Sochi, with some events held in the resort town of Krasnaya Polyana.

Monday, 16 September 2013

The Revolving Door

PledgeMusic has announced John Lenac as Head Of Business Development. He joins from TechIt Media Group, where he was CEO, having previously held various music industry positions over two decades.

Kobalt Label Services has announced the appointment of Vincent Clery-Melin as MD of AWAL, the distribution and marketing services firm Kobalt acquired in 2011.  Kobalt Music Group has announced the appointment ppointment of Sue Drew to the LA-based role of GM of Creative & Acquisitions for the US.

Mike Weatherley, the MP for Hove, and organiser of the annual 'Rock The House' music competition has been appointed as the Prime Minister's adviser on intellectual property, with a particular focus on "enforcement issues relating to the creative industries". Mike comes from a strong professional background in Intellectual Property for both music and film. Before his election to Parliament in 2010, Mike was the Vice President (Europe) for the Motion Picture Licensing Company and previously worked for music industry producer Pete Waterman.

Secondary ticketing company Seatwave has a new boss, with former Shazam Chairman Ajay Chowdhury becoming CEO. He replaces the company's founder Joe Cohen in the top job. Cohen had previously announced that he was taking a non-executive role at the firm at the start of the year

Pandora has announced the appointment of Brian McAndrews, a former Microsoft exec, to the role of President and CEO, replacing Joe Kennedy, who announced he was stepping down in March.

Kylie Minogue will be one of the new judges on the BBC's 'The Voice'. her sister Danii was a previous X-Factor judge on ITV and she tweeted  “Big love and congratulations to my sister. #TheVoice coach Minogue style in action soon!” But there's more ..,,,  'The Voice UK' presenters Reggie Yates and Holly Willoughby have announced they are following the lead of judges /Jessie J and Danny O'Donoghue and leaving the show. They will be replaced by 'Big Brother' presenter Emma Willis and Former JLS star Marvin Humes.

DJ Tim Westwood who has now left the BBC, has revealed that he is heading to Choice FM, having been given a gig by Global Radio chief Richard Park, the first man to hire the hip hop DJ.

With Columbus Nova Technology Partners becoming a "significant shareholder" in Rhapsody, CNTP's Jason Epstein and Andrew Intrater join the Rhapsody board as part of the finance vehicle's investment. Incumbent CEO Jon Irwin is stepping down, but will continue to advise the company, and CFO Adi Dehejia is out too along with 30 other staff members at the digital music platform.

Semetric has announced a number of new hires all involved in selling and further developing the firm's artist analytics platform Musicmetric Pro. Amongst the hires are former EMI and Clear Channel exec Emily Tabak as Director Of Marketing and former West One Music Group exec Rachel Menzies as Director Of Sales, while on the development side Andrew Sommerville becomes Director Of Data Science, Raymond Ottrun becomes Software Engineer and Andy Sykes becomes System Operations Manager.

The Radio Academy has confirmed the appointment of a new CEO, Paul Robinson, who worked at various local radio stations at the start of his career before taking management roles at what was then Talk Radio and the BBC. 

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Morrissey book shelved

Morrissey's much vaunted autobiography will not be in bookshops next week - it seems the truculent singer as pulled out of a deal with Penguin Books due to a 'content disagreement'.  No preview copies were printed, no ISBN number had been allocated - and no comment was made by either side

Saturday, 14 September 2013

UK to support global music sales push

The UK Government is going to make grants available for Indie record labels  to boost sales over seas. Millions of pounds of funding will be available to push British success - in 2012 the UK had 13.3% of the global music market.  

Early Beatles Recordings Released

Previously unreleased recordings and studio banter from the Beatles are being released. The recordings, mad by the BBC in 1963 and 1964 include 37 performances and 23 recordings of conversations between the Fab Four. The new album is called On Air - Live at The BBC Volume 2. 

And in the UK vinyl sales have more than doubled according to Amazon. The Online retailer highlighted vinyl releases such as Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, Adele's 21, David Bowie's new album The Next Day and Back to Black from Amy Winehouse as key drivers. Independent record stores have reported a similar 44% rise in vinyl sales which now total 12 million units annually.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Warners and Clear Channel agree new radio royalties deal

Warner Music and Clear Channel yesterday announced a new alliance which sees the mini-major agree to a deal with the US radio giant similar to that previously entered into with some key independents, whereby the media firm will pay royalties for music used on its AM and FM services in return for better royalty rates on its rapidly expanding digital platform iHeartRadio.

Monday, 9 September 2013

The Revolving Door

HMV has appointed a new marketing boss in the form of Patrizia Leighton, who previously worked for the Warner Home Entertainment Group and at the Virgin Megastores.

Syco Entertainment's Head Of Digital Theo Luke is moving to Twitter, where he will lead the social network's strategic advertising programme Amplify in the UK and EMEA.

Vevo has announced Jonathan Carson as its new Chief Revenue Officer. Based in New York, he will report directly to CEO Rio Caraeff. In this role, Carson will oversee all advertising sales and sponsorships.

Universal Music's international division has appointed Andrew Daw as its new Senior Vice President of Universal Strategic Marketing, which will see him manage the major's non-classical catalogue and audiovisual releases and catalogue licensing globally.

Simon Presswell has been appointed MD of Tickermaster's UK business.

Veteran manager Simon Napier-Bell and Dutch music entrepreneur Bjorn de Water have formed a new consultancy service called Snap-B Music.

BMI, the US collection society for the  music publishing sector has announced that its SVP Of Repertoire And Licensing, Michael O'Neill, will become the next CEO.

Bauer Media last week announced several appointments across its network of UK local radio stations. The main development is the renaming of Programme Controllers at local stations to Content Controller. Some Programme Controllers - Euan McMorrow (Radio Aire), John Harding (Viking FM), Chris Rick (Rock FM) and Keith Clarkson (Radio Borders) - will simply take on the new job title, while other people have been promoted into the role. That includes James Lett at Hallam FM in Sheffield, Nathan Thomson at Radio City in Liverpool, Mike Richardson at West FM in Ayrshire, Davey Walker at Clyde1 in Glasgow, and Mark Cliffe at Metro and TFM in the North East.


Grammy-winning singer songwriter JJ Cale has died, aged 74, in a hospital in the La Jolla neighbourhood of San Diego after suffering a heart attack. His songs included Cocaine and After Midnight covered by Eric Clapton and Lynryd Skyndryd's Call Me The Breeze.

Charlatans drummer Jon Brookes has died. He was just 44. Brookes suffered a seizure on stage during a US tour in 2010, and was later diagnosed with a brain tumour. He made his live return at the final date of the band's UK tour the following month, but had been receiving ongoing treatment.

Sid Bernstein, perhaps best known as the promoter who put on The Beatles' legendary Shea Stadium show, died yesterday. He was 95. As well as The Beatles, Bernstein promoted many other artists, including Abba, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Duke Ellington, Bobby Darrin and Judy Garland, as well as managing The Rascals.

Veteran British radio DJ David Jacobs had died aged 87. Jacobs, the original host of classic music TV programme 'Jukebox Jury' in the 1960s and an original 'Top Of The Pops' presenter, only stepped down from his weekly Radio 2 show 'The David Jacobs Collection' last month because of ill-health. He will be much missed.

Fritz Rau, the legendary German music promoter, recognised as one of the founding fathers of the European live music business, and who worked with the likes of Miles Davis, Eric Clapton, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix, has died aged 83.

Judge urges Pod and FRD to settle Electric Picnic case

In Ireland, Mr Justice Peter Kelly has adjourned a case between Pod Music Ltd, the company run by John Reynolds, funder of the 35,000 Electric Picnic, and Festival Republic Dublin, urging both sides to resolve their differences out of court. Reynolds had claimed that he was being excluded from key decisions and "unexplained payments" now that FDR own 71% of the organising company.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Azoff launches new venture

Irving Azoff, who left Live Nation and Ticketmaster at the end of 2012  has announced a new venture with The Madison Square Garden Company, led by his long-term friend and ally James L Dolan. The new venture will be called Azoff MSG Entertainment, a new business that will include artist management, TV production, live event branding and digital marketing divisions. According to Billboard, under the partnership Azoff will bring to the table the management business he took with him from Live Nation, plus various other in-development ventures. MSG Co will pump $125 million into the new company as well as providing credit facilities, taking a 50% stake in return. Under the alliance Azoff will provide consultancy to the wider MSG Co group, and MSG bosses will provide advice to the new firm and it appears Azoff will bring a management roster including The Eagles, Christina Aguilera, Van Halen, Steely Dan and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham to the venture.

Bowie bidding begins?

According to the Mirror newspaper, Live Nation have made a multi-million pound offer for David Bowie to play East London's Olympic Park. The paper reports the UK's two biggest promoters, Live Nation and AEG, have embarked in a bidding battle to persuade the iconic singer to make a return to the live stage after an eight year hiatus. Bowie is also rumoured as a possible Glastonbury headliner although Michael Eavis has recently said he had lined up three big acts who had never headlined the Somerset 177,500 capacity festival before – Bowie headlined the Pyramid Stage in 2000. Any live dates next year would tie in with the singer's 50th anniversary of his first single 'Liza Jane' released under the name Davie Jones with the King Bees when he was just 17. This year the 66 year old released his first new album in a decade 'The Next Day' sparking hopes of live dates although Bowie has not toured since a heart attack on stage in Germany in 2004.

Summer Sundae ends

Having taken a break in 2013, Leicester’s Summer Sundae festival has been permanently cancelled with organisers Concert Clinic saying “Having taken a hiatus for 2013, we have worked hard on a number of different options to try and make the festival viable moving forward. Sadly we have found that running a city-centre event of this size with such an array of entertainment and professional production standards is just not possible in the current economic climate.


Eventbrite scales up for growth

Ticketing platform Eventbrite has acquired London-based event data company Lanyrd and Argentinian ticket specialist Eventioz. CEO Kevin Hartz said “For seven years, Eventbrite has focused on creating, scaling and promoting the best ticketing platform on the market. Now it’s time for us to open our pocketbooks a bit to accelerate our growth around the world” adding “these two acquisitions perfectly align with the company's strategic focus, while adding significant assets and technical power to our platform.” 

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Festival news

Gibraltar is preparing for its biggest music event to  date - the 10,000 capacity Gibraltar Music Festival headlined by Emili Sande, Olly Murs , 10cc, Texas and Level 42. 

And the Netherland's 60,000 capacity Mysteryland festival will make its US debut The Festival Awards Europe Awards ceremony will take place at EuroSonic in the Netherlands on January 15th 2014 and are organised in association with Yourope, the European Festival association.

The submissions system is now live for the UK Festival Awards and the European Festival Awards including nominations for Promoter of the Year, new technology category and best festival. More details can be found at This year is the 10th anniversary of the UK Festival Awards, and organisers have opened nominations for festivals and the industry to put themselves forward for inclusion in the prestigious Awards. From ‘Best Small’ to ‘Best Major’ festival categories, ‘Best Toilets’ to the panel-voted ‘Promoter of the Year’ award, the UKFA 2013 will celebrate every aspect of this year’s festival season and the industry behind it. UK winners will be presented with their trophies at a ceremony on Monday 2nd December 2013 at The Roundhouse in Camden, London. Festival promoters are invited to nominate their festival now by visiting For festival promoters across Europe, nominations for the European Festival Awards will open simultaneously with the UK,  and promoters are invited to nominate their festival now by visiting The Festival Awards Europe Awards ceremony will take place at EuroSonic in the Netherlands on the evening of Wednesday January 15th 2014 and are organised in association with Yourope, the European Festival association.


The AIM Independent Music Awards 2013 are out, and what a fantastic night it was! Well done to all of the winners - truly representative of the creative talent, innovation and eclecticism in the UK’s independent music community:
Enter Shikari
Alcopop! Records
Frankie & The Heartstrings
Double winners Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
The xx - Coexist
Vampire Weekend - Diane Young
Daughter – Youth
Django Django - WOR
Various Artists - Scared to Get Happy: A Story of Indie Pop 1980-89
In The Woods
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Billy Bragg
Gilles Peterson - BBC 6Music
Steve Lamacq, BBC 6Music
Billy Bragg
Geoff Travis, Rough Trade

Monday, 2 September 2013

Electric Zoo halted after drugs deaths

The third day of New York dance festival Electric Zoo was cancelled after two deaths during the first 48 hours of the fifth edition of the annual event. It is thought the two deaths and four other festival-goers becoming critically ill were all drugs related. The New York authorities seemingly moved to shut down the third day of the event, due to include sets by the likes of Armin van Buuren, Diplo and Chase & Status, after the two fatalities were confirmed.

Competition Commission clears AEG Wembley Arena deal

The Competition Commission (CC) has formally cleared the completed acquisition by AEG Facilities UK (AEG) of the contract to manage Wembley Arena. In its final decision,  the CC has concluded that the merger would not result in a substantial lessening of competition in the markets for the provision of venue space to promoters, provision of sponsorship opportunities or the provision of other event-related services such as catering, confirming the Commission's preliminary ruling, published in July.

Wembley Arena was previously operated by Live Nation Entertainment. AEG is the current operator of three indoor live entertainment venues in London: The O2 Arena, the Hammersmith Apollo, and IndigO2, and has been recently awarded a five-year contract to deliver summer concerts at Hyde Park. Following the merger, AEG will operate the two largest London indoor venues: The O2 Arena and Wembley Arena. AEG is also a promoter, AEG Live (UK) Limited, and owns a ticketing service,

Martin Cave, CC Deputy Chairman and Chairman of the AEG/Wembley Inquiry Group, commented: ‘AEG’s opportunity to increase venue hire prices would be limited because factors such as capacity, availability, brand, reputation and personal preference are more important to acts booking the venue. Negotiation on the venue hire price takes place after the venue booking has been confirmed. We also considered whether AEG would have an incentive to reduce the quality of the venue after the merger and found that doing so could damage AEG both in financial terms and also in relation to its reputation at its other venues.’

The CC also stated that, while the merged entity might have the ability to use its position as a promoter, ticket and venue operator to harm its competitors in different parts of the supply chain, either by reducing the supply of its services to its competitors or by supplying its services on worse terms, it would not have the financial incentive to do so.

Specifically, the CC has found that, if the merged entity tried to harm its competitors in these ways, it would suffer significant short-term losses in pursuit of very uncertain long-term gains.