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CMA launches fresh probe into ticket resale in UK

Following its compliance review of the 'big four' secondary sites, the Consumer and Markets Authority has launched a full investigation into the sector as a whole

By IQ on 19 Dec 2016

Andrea Coscelli, Consumer and Markets Authority

CMA chief executive Andrew Coscelli

image © Crown copyright

Capping off a winter 2016 of unprecedented parliamentary attention on the UK’s secondary ticketing market, the Consumer and Markets Authority (CMA) today launched a fresh investigation into “suspected breaches of consumer protection law” among ticket resale sites.

The competition watchdog in June launched a compliance review focused on StubHub, Viagogo and Ticketmaster’s Get Me In! and Seatwave specifically; the results of that investigation reveal one unnamed website “was not fully complying with their undertaking” – specifically to provide information on any restrictions or additional charges on a ticket, its face value, whether seats are located together and a contact email for sellers, agreed with CMA in March 2015 – and that “CMA is actively pursuing this to ensure they meet their obligations in full”, while three others have “changed their practices in line with their undertakings”.

The review also revealed “wider concerns about information provision and compliance with consumer-protection law [chiefly the Consumer Rights Act 2015] across the sector as a whole”, leading to the enforcement investigation launched today.

In addition to investigating whether sellers and secondary ticketing sites are providing all the information required by law, CMA says it is “working with event organisers to ensure that any terms used to restrict the resale of their tickets” – holds – “are fair for consumers”.

“We have heard concerns about a lack of transparency over who is buying up tickets from the primary market”

Andrea Coscelli, CMA’s acting chief executive, comments: “A night out at a concert or a trip to a big match is something that millions of people look forward to, so it’s important they know who they are buying from and whether there are any restrictions that could stop them using the ticket.

“We have heard concerns about a lack of transparency over who is buying up tickets from the primary market. We also think that it is essential that those consumers who buy tickets from the secondary market are made aware if there is a risk that they will be turned away at the door.

“We have therefore decided to open a sector-wide investigation to ensure that customers are made aware of important information that they are legally entitled to. If we find breaches of consumer law, we will take enforcement action.”


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