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Secondary Ticketing Websites Face Threat Of UK Ban
Christian Eede , August 18th, 2021 15:16

The Competition and Markets Authority has proposed fresh regulations to put a stop to the "unscrupulous" market

Secondary ticketing websites could be closed down in the UK under new proposals designed to stop "unscrupulous" ticket touts.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has put forward new legislation that would effectively ban online secondary ticket marketplaces from being accessed in the UK unless they are granted certain licenses to operate. Sites like Viagogo and StubHub could be taken down if they are found to break consumer protraction laws if the new measures are put into place.

"The abuses in the secondary ticket market are clear as day and the CMA have been provided a wealth of evidence on this," said Labour MP Sharon Hodgson, who has been one of a group of UK politicians examining the secondary ticketing market as part of an All-Party Parliamentary Group on ticket abuse. "Fixing the secondary ticket market to make it fit for fans will require political will from the government and time allowed in parliament."

Responding to the CMA proposals, a Viagogo spokesperson said: "The CMA's report into Secondary Ticketing offers an interesting insight into the effectiveness of current regulation. We welcome the exposure this gives to the strength of Viagogo's customer protections and the recognition of the importance regulated platforms play in ensuring customer confidence when accessing live events.

"The CMA notes their report is not as a result of customer complaints and moreover, that a ban on secondary platforms would lead to an explosion in black market sources for tickets. We have argued strongly that the UK should grasp the opportunity of the COVID-19 recovery to improve the events industry and strengthen market collaboration between all players including event organisers, venues, primary and resale platforms.

"We are open to all ideas as to how that is achieved, but it must be carefully considered and focused on improving the industry's service for customers. There is a need to address the failings of the primary market and we need to explore the risks of new and unregulated online resale channels."

You can look back over the full investigation into secondary ticketing websites, which was originally opened in 2012, via the government website.