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The European Union has approved the early stages of a new Digital Services Act, which aims to update rules for online platforms and marketplaces – including secondary ticketing.

Members of European Parliament (MEPs) have approved two ‘legislative initiative’ reports, paving the way for the Digital Services Act (DSA) to be presented to the European Commission in December.

The new act aims to do for e-commerce what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) did for data, and is expected to increase scrutiny on second-hand ticket selling.

A press release from the European Parliament stated that “platforms and online intermediation services will need to get better at detecting and taking down false claims and tackling rogue traders.”

In response to the announcement, the Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT) has published a series of recommendations for the future of secondary ticketing.

Among the recommendations made by FEAT are: clear liability rules for ticket resale marketplaces, verification processes that require platforms to vet sellers and their tickets, and increased transparency measures that ensure marketplaces provide customers with all relevant information.

They also call for efficient reporting and takedown of invalid tickets, and the establishment of a new EU watchdog to enforce these rules. Lastly, they add that these rules should apply to all marketplaces selling to EU customers, even if the marketplace is not based in the EU.

FEAT’s full ‘position paper’, stating all its recommendations, can be viewed here.

The Digital Services Act makes other stipulations, too. It aims to make users less dependent on algorithms for the kind of content they see, and suggests internet users should be able to opt out of ‘curated’ content. It also says targeted advertising must be regulated more strictly, to be less intrusive and require less data.

Austrian MEP Hannes Heide, who sits on the European Parliament’s Culture Committee, strongly supported the proposals. He commented: “Ticket resale platforms like Viagogo list and advertise mostly overpriced tickets for sporting or cultural events, usually being sold by commercial traders rather than consumers. They enable the sale of speculative tickets, which the seller does not even own, and sales that contravene the lawful terms and conditions of the ticket. This harms consumers, artists, event organisers and honest ticket sellers.”