In another twist to the proposed merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster, the U.K.'s Competition Commission (CC) has re-opened its investigation into the tie-up.

The CC confirmed today (Feb. 11) that the original Dec. 22 decision, which cleared the proposed merger in the U.K., had been quashed.

German ticketing company CTS Eventim appealed against the Dec. 22 decision and the U.K.'s Competition Appeal Tribunal ordered on Feb. 11 that the case should be reviewed again. CTS Eventim is entering the U.K. market this year, and it had a global ticketing partnership in place with Live Nation before the promoter's proposed merger with Ticketmaster.

CTS Eventim appealed the U.K. ruling on the basis that they were denied the chance to comment properly on the CC's decision, particularly as the U.K. body had changed its verdict from the earlier provisional ruling in October 2009.

The CC said it has agreed to re-open the investigation for a maximum of three months to give CTS Eventim time to make its response. The CC pointed out that this approach would be quicker than any challenge to the appeal ruling. The December report now becomes provisional while the investigation is re-opened.

While U.S. antitrust authorities passed the merger last month, U.K. regulators have now made two U-turns. In October the CC provisionally ruled that the merger could inhibit the entry into the U.K. of CTS Eventim. But by December it had decided that the merger would make little difference to the prospects of Eventim's success in the U.K.

In a statement in December, the CC said that Eventim will "continue to receive a fee for every Live Nation ticket sold and Live Nation will continue to be obliged to allocate a minimum number of tickets to Eventim." The CC said the deal was binding regardless of what happened with the merger.

The European promoter/ticketing operation runs ticketing for Live Nation in Sweden, Finland, Poland and the Netherlands and the agreement was in the process of extending into the Czech Republic, Hungary, United Kingdom and Norway. The deal also gave Live Nation a licence to use CTS Eventim's ticketing software in North America.

Possible remedies for the merger outlined by the CC last year include the divestment of the U.K. business of either Ticketmaster of Live Nation, and measures to ensure that CTS or another ticket agent can act as the retailer for some of Live Nation's tickets.

The Office of Fair Trading referred the proposed merger to the Competition Commission in June 2009. The Commission is an independent public body, which investigates mergers, markets and the regulated industries.