Competition watchdog takes Viagogo to High Court

Published by Lily Canter on 31 August 2018.
Last updated on 31 August 2018

Concert

Ticket reseller Viagogo is being taken to the High Court by the competition watchdog for failing to improve its practices.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) issued enforcement actions against the four major secondary ticket websites last November ordering them to make changes to their selling processes.

StubHub, GetMeIn and Seatwave agreed to provide better information to customers. However, Viagogo failed to respond. This left consumers at risk of being denied entry at venues and not knowing which seats they would get.

The CMA intends to bring Viagogo in line with consumer protection law by taking the company to court – a move that could see the reseller fined thousands of pounds.

Andrea Coscelli, CMA’s chief executive, says: “People who buy tickets on websites like Viagogo must be given all the information they are entitled to. It’s imperative they know key facts, including what seat they will get and whether there is a risk they might not actually get into the event, before parting with their hard-earned money.

“Unfortunately, while other businesses have agreed to overhaul their sites to ensure they respect the law, Viagogo has not. We will now be pursuing action through the courts to ensure that they comply with the law.”

The CMA is concerned that Viagogo is breaking consumer law by not informing buyers about who is selling the ticket, offering tickets that a seller does not own and providing misleading information about the availability and popularity of tickets.

The regulator is also seeking an interim enforcement order from the court. If successful, this will put a stop to some practices in the period leading up to the trial.

Ticketmaster is due to close its websites Seatwave and GetMeIn in October in a bid to combat inflated ticket prices. It also pledged to be transparent about the difference between new and resold tickets.

Ticket resellers have been openly criticised by many artists including Ed Sheeran, Adele and Little Mix.

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