We previously blogged on the enforcement action taken by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) against secondary ticketing sites suspected of breaking consumer protection law. Following this enforcement action three major secondary ticketing sites have pledged to make changes to the way they provide information to customers.

What is a secondary ticketing site?

Secondary ticketing sites enable the re-sale of tickets for events such as concerts and sporting events. When functioning properly, these can assist fans in getting tickets for events that they want to see and also allow tickets to be sold on where they genuinely cannot be used, keeping fans from being left out of pocket. Unfortunately, however, the CMA takes the view that some secondary ticketing sites have failed to provide adequate information on the tickets to purchasers.

CMA Investigation

In November 2017 the CMA announced that it would take enforcement action against secondary ticketing sites suspected of breaking consumer protection law. It identified widespread concerns about the information consumers were given, and gathered evidence which it considered revealed breaches of the law. The CMA raised its concerns with a number of sites and required them to take action where necessary.

Following this enforcement action, StubHub, GETMEIN! and Seatwave, three of the four major secondary ticketing sites, have formally committed to ensuring better information will be given about tickets being resold through their sites. The information will also be more easily identifiable by customers, as the three sites will make significant changes to the way they gather and display information. This additional information will help customers decide whether to buy the tickets and also whether they are getting a good deal.

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 the customer will get
  • who is selling the ticket

Viagogo, the fourth major secondary ticketing site, has not (yet) agreed to make the changes the CMA considers necessary. The CMA has therefore notified them that, unless they satisfactorily address its concerns in a prompt manner, it will take action through the courts.

All businesses dealing with consumers need to ensure that their terms comply with consumer protection law, particularly online sellers who are subject to additional rules. Please contact us if you require any assistance with such terms.