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Council to pay £15k as secondary sites evade fines

A local UK council is covering the legal costs of secondary ticketing sites, after an unsuccessful attempt to fine resellers for breach of legislation

By Anna Grace on 05 Jul 2019

North Yorkshire County Council foots secondary sites legal bills

NYCC HQ


The North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) has to foot £15,000 in legal costs, after losing a long running court battle against secondary ticketing sites.

The council had appealed a decision to annul fines it brought against secondary ticketing sites, sparking criticism of its conduct by the judge, who ruled that “a costs order would be appropriate to mark the strength of my concern”.

The judge concluded that the council had imposed excessive financial penalties on individuals and businesses breaching resale regulations by “adopting an unfair process and misrepresenting that process to the tribunal in its written submissions.”

Last year, the NYCC authorised a national cyber crime team to take action against secondary sites that failed to provide sufficient details about the face value of tickets, seat numbers and restrictions on usage.

“A costs order would be appropriate to mark the strength of my concern”

The NYCC requested a maximum fine of £5,000 for each tout that breached legislation. Although admitting fault, the resellers concerned challenged the decision, claiming the financial penalties were too high.

In April, a judge granted the secondary ticketers’ appeals, stating that the council had failed to act in a timely manner, serving notices of intent more than six months after gathering evidence.

A court order was also drawn up to oblige the NYCC to remove the £5,000 blanket fine on touts from its secondary ticketing enforcement policy. The council is yet to make the necessary changes.

A spokesperson for National Trading Standards said it was “disappointed” by the latest ruling.

 


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