THREE major secondary ticketing sites have promised to be explain more about restrictions on the tickets they are buying following enforcement action by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

E-bay-owned StubHub and Ticketmaster firms GetMeIn! and Seatwave have formally committed to ensuring better information will be provided about tickets being resold through their platforms. They had already made changes during the course of the CMA’s investigation.

But the CMA singled out Switzerland-based Viagogo for not currently having agreed to make the required changes.

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The sites will now make clear whether there is a risk a customer might be turned away at the door, which seat in the venue they will get and who is selling the ticket.

It comes a year after a row over the ticket touting over the BBC Radio 6 Music Festival in Glasgow which have been sold for up to 30 times their face value and had been described as the "real rock 'n' roll swindle".


Tickets to see electro-pioneers Depeche Mode who played the 2,100-capacity Glasgow Barrowland were sold out in minutes with £30 briefs immediately becoming available on the Viagogo ticketing resale site and offered for up to £879 each.

The touting came despite a BBC warning that tickets resold for profit or commercial gain by anyone other than nominated ticket agent, the Ticketmaster-owned Ticketweb will become void.

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The taxpayer-funded broadcaster had warned fans there were restrictions on tickets and people with resold briefs would be barred.

Concerns about resold tickets also erupted three years ago when the Lawn Tennis Association warned disgruntled fans buying tickets resold by touts for the sell-out Davis Cup semi final featuring Andy Murray in Glasgow that they might be voided, after many complained that tickets were being swiftly resold for up to £1,399 each, over 14 times their original face value.


Hundreds of tickets became available through resale and ticket exchange agencies including eBay company Stubhub for up to £750, Viagogo for up to £700, and the Ticketmaster firms Seatwave and Get Me In! for £500 and £750 respectively.

In November, Scots trading standards officers said they were considering prosecuting touts for misleading the public in the continuing row over the resale of tickets to popular music, theatre and sporting events often at inflated prices.

Michael Grenfell, the CMA’s executive director for enforcement said: “So far Viagogo has failed to address our concerns, and we are determined to ensure they comply with the law. We are prepared to use the full range of our powers to protect customers – including action through the courts."

The CMA also raised concerns with Viagogo made statements about the availability and popularity of tickets on its website which had the potential to mislead consumers or rush them into making a buying decision and problems encountered by its customers in getting their money back under the guarantee.

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Mr Grenfell added: “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.”

Alex Neill of the consumer organisation Which? said:“We have repeatedly exposed secondary ticketing websites, including Viagogo, for playing fast and loose with the rules and putting people at risk of getting a raw deal on tickets so we welcome the competition authority taking strong action.

“The agreements reached with some of the biggest players in the market must now lead to much greater transparency, so consumers have a better chance of getting the best tickets for popular events at fair prices.”

The Fair Ticketing Alliance (FTA), a lobbying group of commercial ticket resellers welcomed the commitments made but said it was "very disappointed" that Viagogo failed to address concerns raised by the regulator.

Fair Ticketing Alliance member, Scot Tobias said: “The Fair Ticketing Alliance is delighted with the swift action of StubHub, GetMeIn and Seatwave to improve transparency for customers following action by the Competition and Markets Authority. Undoubtedly, this will improve the experience of live music and entertainment fans using their sites and is precisely in line with what we have been calling for as brokers.

“It’s disappointing, however, that not all secondary website platforms have followed suit. Our members have stopped listing tickets on sites who do not comply with everything set out by the CMA. We urge those sites to do so immediately.

“We want consumers to be able to make clear, informed decisions when buying tickets on the secondary market, and we welcome the CMA’s view that these changes will help people pick the best deals for them. The FTA supports a secondary marketplace that offers choice, trust and flexibility and we believe that today’s announcement is another BIG step in the right direction.”