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Viagogo snubs UK ticket abuse inquiry

The secretive, Switzerland-headquartered secondary ticketer was conspicuous by its absence at today's evidence session, with MPs decrying its "huge lack of respect"

By IQ on 21 Mar 2017

Rob Wilmshurst, See Tickets, empty seat for Viagogo, UK parliament

Rob Wilmshurst – and an empty seat for Viagogo

image © UK Parliament

Viagogo has been heavily criticised by British MPs after failing to send any representatives to today’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee evidence session on ticket abuse.

The hearing – a follow-up to a similar session in November attended by Ticketmaster, eBay/StubHub, Professor Michael Waterson and more – saw a cross-section of industry figures, including See Tickets’ Rob Wilmshurst, Hamilton ticketing director Keith Kenny, Ed Sheeran manager Stuart Camp, Kilimanjaro Live’s Stuart Galbraith, Daily Record journalist Mark McGivern and campaigner Clair Turnham, of the ‘Victims of Viagogo’ group, give evidence to MPs as they consider what action the UK will take on ticket touting.

Committee chair Damian Collins said: “It is of considerable disappointment to us that Viagogo have decided not to send a representative, despite the fact that they have a substantial office in Cannon Street [in central London].

“Given that other companies that operate in the primary and secondary ticketing space, like Live Nation and eBay, have given evidence to the committee, it is of considerable disappointment to us that Viagogo don’t feel they have any oral evidence they can contribute.”

Nigel Adams MP said the no-show demonstrates a “huge lack of respect” on Viagogo’s part.

Nigel Huddleston MP, another member of the committee, said Viagogo had shown “a lack of respect to parliament and, by extension, the British public”.

Mobile ticketing app Dice, meanwhile, used the no-show to take a pot shot at Viagogo, joking it had a “last-minute ticket for the intimate” committee hearing for sale.

According to The Guardian, Switzerland-headquartered Viagogo told MPs by email last night it would not be attending.

The publicity-shy company, which largely adopts a ‘head in the sand’ approach to negative publicity, has recently been hit with multiple speculative-selling lawsuits in Europe, while it – along with eBay’s StubHub and Ticketmaster’s Get Me In! and Seatwave – is under investigation by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority for alleged breaches of consumer protection legislation and HMRC for alleged non-payment of taxes.

Ministers have previously discussed making non-attendance of select committees a crime, although no legislation has yet been introduced.


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