The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has issued court proceedings against Viagogo, over concerns it is breaking consumer protection law.
Following an investigation into the secondary ticketing sector, the CMA began enforcement action against four major secondary ticketing websites last November. As a result, three of those sites – StubHub, GETMEIN! and Seatwave – offered formal commitments in April to overhaul the way they do business.
However, despite being warned a failure to do likewise would result in court action, Viagogo has not offered to make the changes the CMA considers necessary to bring it in line with the law. Legal proceedings have therefore been brought in the High Court.
Get Me In and Seatwave recently announced they were shutting down, with owner TicketMaster moving towards a fan-to-fan ticket exchange service on its existing platforms.
This came after a series of high-profile complaints led to government legislature being put in place to combat automated ticket bots and resales.
Andrea Coscelli, CMA chief executive officer, said: “People who buy tickets on websites like Viagogo must be given all the information they are entitled to. It’s imperative they know key facts, including what seat they will get and whether there is a risk they might not actually get into the event, before parting with their hard-earned money.
“This applies to Viagogo as much as it does to any other secondary ticketing website. Unfortunately, while other businesses have agreed to overhaul their sites to ensure they respect the law, Viagogo has not. We will now be pursuing action through the courts to ensure that they comply with the law.”
Given the importance of ensuring its concerns are addressed promptly, the CMA is also seeking an interim enforcement order from the court that, if successful, will put a stop to some practices in the period up until the full trial.
The CMA continues to work closely with partner agencies and enforcers to drive up standards in the sector.