Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Investigation into secondary ticketing market launched by CMA

19 December 2016, 14:07 | Written by Laurence Day

The Competition and Markets Authority has launched a new investigation into suspected breaches of consumer protection law in the secondary ticketing industry.

The investigation will be looking at the information provided to customers about the ticket seller's identity, what kinds of connections the seller has with the event organisers, restrictions in the use of resold tickets, and where the seat (if applicable) is in the venue.

The CMA believe that potential customers need to be warned that they could be turned away at the doors if they have purchased tickets from a secondary source.

"A night out at a concert or a trip to a big match is something that millions of people look forward to," says the CMA's acting chief exec Andrea Coscelli. "It is important they know who they are buying from and whether there are any restrictions that could stop them using the ticket."

"We have heard concerns about a lack of transparency over who is buying up tickets from the primary market," continues Coscelli. "We also think that it is essential that those consumers who buy tickets from the secondary market are made aware if there is a risk that they will be turned away at the door. We have therefore decided to open a sector-wide investigation to ensure that customers are made aware of important information that they are legally entitled to. If we find breaches of consumer law, we will take enforcement action."

Following the investigation the CMA will then "consider" if secondary ticketing sellers and platforms - chiefly the likes of Get Me In, Seatwave, StubHub, and Viagogo - have broken the law. Court-imposed fines are possible if they have been acting illegally.

This development is the latest in an ongoing battle between real music, sport, theatre, and comedy fans and the greedy touts artificially hiking up prices for massive profit. Just last month tickets for Adele's summer 2017 shows in London were being sold for over £9000, despite not being on general sale yet.

Action has recently begun against touts in United States - just last week President Barack Obama outlawed the use of botnets. This is in stark contrast to the UK, where a recent government review rejected outlawing botnets.

Share article

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next