Viagogo dropped a press release this morning stated that they had completed their transaction with eBay to buy StubHub.
Which seems quick and with little investigation in the United States.
What can we or should we make of the completion of this sale and merger?
It seems unlikely that there will be any changes to Viagogo’s business practices:
This week the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK “halted” the deal. From the looks of it, that meant absolutely nothing.
Knowing viagogo’s history with the regulators in the UK and seeing no provisions or guidance offered up from the US government, I think we can make a pretty good assumption that viagogo isn’t likely to change their practices and, likely, may even be more aggressive.
Allowing this merger to go through so quickly would be in-line with a seemingly rapid change in the US government’s stance on dealing with ticketing companies:
It is only 7-8 months since we were all in DC for a workshop where online ticket selling was on the docket and there was lots of discussion about regulation, making things more consumer-friendly, and all other sorts of saber-rattling.
Then, all of a sudden, the DOJ opens up the consent decree of Live Nation and Ticketmaster, basically says…its cool and moves on.
Followed quickly by this merger going through with little or no investigation of the deal by the US government.
This would lead me to believe that any ideas we had about tickets being a whipping boy during this election season are now gone.
What will this mean for the viagogo brand?
As many folks have mentioned, the viagogo brand has had any number of issues with consumers around the world.
I’ve often felt that the acquisition of StubHub was a good way to push the viagogo brand underneath and to have it retire.
The news in the press release that StubHub’s HQ in San Francisco will be maintained doesn’t lead me to think otherwise.
Coupled with the recent news of massive layoffs at StubHub, it would seem this idea may hold greater weight than I might have imagined.
As they say in the UK when your football club gets a new manager, “it is still early days.”
What do y’all think about the merger now that it is completed?