Following enforcement action from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), StubHub, GETMEIN! and Seatwave have committed to ensuring better information is given about tickets being resold through their platforms.
This builds on changes the websites had already made during the course of the CMA’s investigation, and will help people to decide whether buying a ticket is worthwhile, as well as pick the best deal for them.
The sites will make clear:
- whether there is a risk a customer might be turned away at the door;
- which seat in the venue the customer will get; and who is selling the ticket, so customers can benefit from enhanced legal rights when buying from a business.
The three ticketing platforms have assured they will make it mandatory for sellers to provide this information when listing a ticket, routinely carry out their own checks on primary ticket sellers’ websites about resale restrictions, and act promptly if event organisers tell them information is missing.
The CMA also raised the same concerns about how information is provided to customers with a fourth platform, Viagogo, along with other issues, including a historic failure to comply with a commitment given in 2015. However, this platform has not, currently, agreed to make changes the CMA considers necessary. Therefore, the CMA has notified them it will take action through the courts, unless they promptly commit to satisfactorily addressing its concerns.
Michael Grenfell, the CMA’s executive director for enforcement, said: “Thousands of people use secondary ticketing websites to buy tickets for concerts, theatre and other events. So it’s crucial they are told what they are buying, from whom they are buying it, and whether their ticket might not actually get them into the event.
“We welcome the changes already made and new commitments we’ve been given by StubHub, Seatwave and GETMEIN! to improve the information on offer, so that people can better judge whether they’re getting a good deal. But all secondary ticketing websites must play by the rules and treat their customers fairly if anything goes wrong. We take failure to comply with consumer protection law very seriously.”
Adam Webb, campaign manager for FanFair Alliance, added: “Today’s CMA announcement is vindication for the FanFair Alliance campaign to overhaul the online ticket resale market. UK audiences have been taken for a ride for too long by the biggest secondary platforms and the dedicated touts who fuel their business.
“It is disappointing, though hardly unexpected, that Viagogo continue to flout the law and mislead the British public. If they fail to follow their competitors and make similar commitments, then we expect to see prosecution for non-compliance at the earliest opportunity.”
The CMA continues to work closely with partner agencies and enforcers working in this field, including: the Advertising Standards Authority, National Trading Standards (NTS) and Trading Standards Scotland.