Government agency ACCC has instituted legal proceedings against Viagogo, saying its opaque fee structure and self-designation as an "official" seller deceive consumers
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A court allows secondary ticketing site Viagogo to use 'hover text' to display face value, as CMA continues to pursue separate legal proceedings
By Anna Grace on 18 Jul 2019
A court has found secondary ticketing site Viagogo compliant with one aspect of an order by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority regarding the display of face value ticket prices on its website.
The court case related to the use of ‘hover text’, or text that is only visible when the mouse pointer is placed on it, to reveal the face value of tickets and refund deadlines. The CMA argues that the practice means that original prices are not “clearly and prominently” displayed.
However, a High Court judge today (18 July) has allowed Viagogo to use hover over text to display the original face value price of tickets.
An official CMA spokesperson said: “Today’s judgement does not mean that Viagogo is compliant with the court order the CMA secured against it. We still think that Viagogo is breaching parts of the order and so continue to move forward with legal proceedings for contempt of court against the site in relation to those concerns.
“Importantly, today’s judgement confirms that Viagogo cannot use ‘hover over text’ unless specifically allowed by the order and it needs to stop displaying important information about deadlines under its guarantee in this way.
“We still think Viagogo is breaching parts of the order and so are continuing to prepare to take legal action”
“Although the court found that information about face value prices can be displayed with hover over text on one page of the site, Viagogo must still display this information on two other separate places on the face of its website.”
The watchdog is pursuing separate legal proceedings against the secondary site for non-compliance with demands made in a 2018 court order. Requirements included the provision of complete ticket and seller information and of a warning that tickets may not assure entry.
“We still think Viagogo is breaching parts of the order and so are continuing to prepare to take legal action,” tweeted the CMA.
Viagogo managing director Cris Miller says he is “delighted with the outcome of the court case”.
“We originally disagreed with the CMA on this, and today’s announcement validates our position and demonstrates clearly the necessity of being able to challenge the CMA’s authority,” states Miller.
The court case follows a tough week for the secondary ticketing site. Google yesterday barred Viagogo from advertising through its platform, following pressure from industry organisations and others.
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