Isle of Wight Festival buyers under investigation

LN-Gaiety Holdings Limited (Live Nations) are a global leader for live entertainment and reported on the 17th March this year that ‘as part of a new investment agreement, Live Nation via LN-Gaiety has become the majority shareholder in the Isle of Wight Festival and will work alongside John Giddings and Solo Music Agency, who will continue to lead the festival.’

Live Nations show on their website that they have more than 86 festivals in its global festival portfolio including some of Europe’s finest such as Download, Lollapalooza, Reading & Leeds, Way Out West, Rock Werchter, Splendour Festival Australia and US favourites Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits, Governor’s Ball, Live Nation has the largest and most diverse platform of festivals in the world.

It has now emerged that the Competition and Market Authority are investigating LN-Gaiety Holding Ltd on reasonable grounds for suspecting that it is or may be the case that LN Gaiety and Isle of Wight Festival Limited have ceased to be distinct. The CMA is considering, pursuant to section 22 of the Enterprise Act 2002, whether it is or may be the case that a relevant merger situation has been created and whether the creation of that situation has resulted or may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in any market or markets in the United Kingdom.

As it stands, there are certain obligations that Live Nations have to adhere to until the investigation is over, such as the Isle of Wight Festival business is carried on separately from the Live Nation business and the Isle of Wight Festival business’s separate sales or brand identity is maintained.

It will be interesting to see the development of this investigation, or whether any other giants come out of the woodwork to object to the deal between Live Nations and the Isle of Wight Festival.

We will watch the progress with hawk eyes and keep the reading room apprised of the updates.

Until then, its business as usual for the organisers at the Isle of Wight Festival.

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