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CCPC launches formal ticketing investigation

The Irish consumer protection agency will probe venues, promoters and ticketers for alleged competition law breaches, as momentum builds against ticket touting

By Jon Chapple on 26 Jan 2017

Isolde Goggin, Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC)

CCPC chairwoman Isolde Goggin

image © Competition and Consumer Protection Commission

The Republic of Ireland’s consumer watchdog, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), is to investigate several ticket agencies, venues and promoters for suspected breaches of competition law.

Wicklow and East Carlow MP Stephen Donnelly revealed last week he had contacted CCPC to ask for an “investigation into potentially illegal activity” by ticket resellers. The commission announced today it has taken Donnelly’s request a step further, launching a full investigation into “potentially anti-competitive conduct” among those involved in the “provision of tickets and the operation of ticketing services for live events”.

Ticket touting has come under increased scrutiny in Ireland since the announcement earlier this month of U2’s The Joshua Tree Tour 2017. Tickets for the band’s show at Croke Park in Dublin in July sold out in less than six minutes, appearing, predictably, for inflated prices on secondary sites not long after.

“The investigation will focus primarily on potentially anti-competitive conduct by operators including those involved in providing tickets and ticketing services, promoters and venues”

Secondary ticketing was discussed in the Irish parliament on Tuesday, with jobs minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor announcing a public consultation – which will presumably run alongside the CCPC investigation – on the issue.

CCPC has already issued witness summonses to “a number of parties”, and says it also welcomes input from those working in the industry “who may have information that they feel is relevant to the investigation”.

The CCPC investigation follows similar probes by the Competition and Markets Authority and HMRC in neighbouring Britain.


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