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NMa: More room for entry in concert and ticket branch

The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) expects the opportunity for entry in the concert and ticket branch to increase. Ticket Service, TicketBox and Mojo have either removed exclusivity clauses from their contracts or promised to do so shortly. Ticket Service and TicketBox focus on the presale of tickets for music, sports and dance events. Mojo is active in the market for artist contracting and events organisation. It is to be expected that these measures will allow other parties easier access to the concert and ticket branch. On the basis of this outcome, the NMa has terminated its investigation into possible infringements of the Competition Act with regard to these undertakings.

The investigation was warranted by signals from the market indicating that Mojo shielded off international artists. The NMa has found no proof of this. However, a number of contracts between Mojo and venues such as the Gelredome or the Amsterdam Arena were found to contain exclusivity clauses. These clauses stipulated that the venues involved should refrain from renting out facilities to Mojo's competitors. In the course of the investigation, Mojo adjusted the contracts concerned. As a result of the removal of the abovementioned clauses, other event organisers are allowed entry to these venues.

The contracts of Ticket Service and TicketBox provide for conditions forbidding event organisers to engage with competing national providers of presale services. The undertakings are to remove these clauses from all contracts within a year's time. They will only set up exclusive contracts on the express request of a client. The undertakings indicate they will prevent such cases from giving rise, by accumulation, to the exclusion of current or potential competitors from the market. Also, Ticket Service has removed the contract condition compelling buyers to charge an equal amount of service costs as compared to Ticket Service in case of sales organised via a local distributor (for instance record shops). As a result, the NMa expects competition to focus increasingly on the level of service costs.

"We expect these changes to improve chances for new market parties and stimulate competition and the development of new distribution methods', states René Jansen, Member of the Board. 'Overnight camping outside sales points may prove unnecessary more often as, for instance, new possibilities for buying tickets, such as e-ticketing, become available.'

The NMa oversees the implementation of the measures and will closely monitor this sector in future also.