The CMA has issued court proceedings against viagogo over concerns it is breaking consumer protection law.
Following an investigation into the secondary ticketing sector, the Competition and Markets Authority (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.
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.”
The CMA is concerned that viagogo is breaking consumer law – with the result that customers are not being told if there is a risk that they will be turned away at the door and that they are not being informed which seat in the venue they will get.
Customers are also not being told who is selling the ticket, so that they can benefit from enhanced legal rights when buying from a business and are given misleading information about the availability and popularity of tickets – which has the potential to lead to them being rushed into making a buying decision or making the wrong choice.
The CMA is therefore now seeking a court order to bring these practices to an end, and ensure that viagogo does not repeat historic failures to make its customers aware of the face value of tickets on sale through its site.
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.