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Competition watchdog launches investigation into MCD Productions sale

Last August, it was announced that MCD Productions was to be sold to UK firm LNGaiety.

Image: Shutterstock/dwphotos

THE COMPETITION AND Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), the State’s competition watchdog, is launching a full investigation into the proposed acquisition of MCD Productions. 

Last August, it was announced that MCD Productions, a company owned by Denis Desmond, was to be sold to UK firm LNGaiety, a joint venture between Desmond’s Gaiety Investments and Live Nation (Music) UK Limited. 

Following a preliminary investigation, the CCPC determined that a full Phase Two investigation is required in order to establish if the proposed sale could lead to a substantial lessening of competition for the sector in the State.

The CCPC will publish the reasons for its determination to proceed to the full investigation on its website no later than 60 days after the date of the determination. 

Parties will be given the opportunity to request that confidential information be removed from the published version. 

Interested parties have been invited to make submissions no later than 5.30am on 18 January. 

Live Nation

LN-Gaiety Holdings Limited is a UK incorporated joint venture between Live Nation (Music) UK Limited and Gaiety Investments, in operation since 2005.

Live Nation (Music) UK Limited is ultimately owned and controlled by Live Nation Entertainment Inc, a global live music entertainment company and owner of Ticketmaster. 

Live Nation Entertainment Inc also owns and operates the 3Arena, operates the Bord Gais Energy Theatre and manages venues such as the Gaiety and Olympia theatres. 

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There are already three members of the Desmond family on the board of LNGaiety, including Denis Desmond.

MCD Productions Unlimited Company is primarily a promoter of live music events in Ireland, including two music festivals, Longitude and Vital.

Last year, MCD promoted the likes of Michael Buble and Taylor Swift and sell out gigs by U2, Coldplay and Guns n’ Roses. These events helped catapult MCD into the top ten promoters in the world with 1.6 million fans attending MCD gigs here last year.

As a result, MCD’s place in the world’s top 100 promoters jumped eight places to number eight on the charts.

With reporting by Gordon Deegan

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