A close up of a magnifying glass rests on top of a bar graph that shows declining sales or performance over a quarterly basis. The image is photographed using a very shallow depth of field.

The US$4bn merger of StubHub and Viagogo, agreed in February, has landed on the wrong side of a judgement by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The CMA said it concluded viagogo and StubHub are close competitors in an already very concentrated market with no significant additional competitors.

It added that there are only 2 companies of material size in the UK’s secondary ticketing market with a combined market share of more than 90%.

“Viagogo’s purchase of StubHub is likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the online secondary ticketing market,” the CMA said.

“The CMA is concerned that the merger could lead to increases in fees for customers, including fans, who resell or buy secondary tickets to live events. The CMA also found that the merger could result in a lower quality of service and reduced innovation in the sector.”

The regulator set out potential options for the combined business including the requirement to sell all or part of Stubhub.