The Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT), which campaigns for fairer ticket resale, is among 30 signatories on a joint statement calling for the EU’s upcoming Digital Services Act to include “effective and unambiguous rules” to tackle illegal secondary ticketing activities and rogue traders.

Written by the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), the letter has been sent to members of the European Parliament, Council and Commission. It calls for stricter regulation of online marketplaces, which BEUC claims is essential to protect music fans from exploitation by nefarious, large-scale, secondary ticketing operations.

The statement references evidence provided by FEAT in the form of nearly 60 major legal cases and initiatives involving secondary ticketing marketplaces that have taken place in Europe over the past few years.

BEUC argues that self-regulation has failed and online marketplaces need to be held accountable for the transactions they facilitate in order to better protect consumers.

The organisation said the Digital Services Act offers the opportunity to put a stop to the exploitation of live music, entertainment and sports fans at the hands of ticket touts, who are able to operate on ticket resale sites across Europe under a veil of anonymity.

The statement can be viewed here.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is investigating suspected breaches of consumer protection law in the online secondary tickets market and has called on the Government to enforce stronger laws to tackle illegal ticket resale.

It has suggested that secondary ticketing operators such as Viagogo and StubHub should be licensed, and if they are found to break consumer protection regulations they would be fined or forced to close.

The CMA’s recommendations include:

  • A ban on platforms allowing resellers to sell more tickets for an event than they can legally buy from the primary market.
  • Ensuring platforms are fully responsible for incorrect information about tickets that are listed for sale on their websites.
  • A new system of licensing for platforms that sell secondary tickets that would enable an authority to act quickly and issue sanctions such as taking down websites, withdrawing a business’s right to operate in the sector, and the imposition of substantial fines.