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No show from Viagogo at ticket abuse hearing

Secondary ticketing firm Viagogo were expected at a ticket abuse hearing this morning (21 March) in the House Of Commons to give evidence, but did not show.

Picking up on issues brought over from the previous meeting in November, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee featured representatives from StubHub and Ticketmaster, and will consider the government’s response to the independent report on secondary ticketing by Professor Michael Waterson.

“It is of considerable disappointment to us that Viagogo have decided not to send a representative,” said committee chairman Damian Collins. “Despite the fact that they have a substantial office in London they do not believe that they have adequate representation in the UK in order to assist the committee with its enquiries.

“Given that other companies that operate in the primary and secondary ticketing space like Live Nation and eBay have given evidence to the committee, it is of considerable disappointment to us that Viagogo don’t feel that they have any oral evidence that they can contribute,” Collins added.

Live Nation’s Ticketmaster subsidiary runs resale sites Seatwave and Get Me In, which have both been in the news recently on the topic of abuse through secondary ticketing sites.

Committee member Jon Nicolson MP added: “It’s always a very sad sight, we see this very rarely, that we have to empty chair somebody because most public organisations, most private organisations, have enough respect for parliament that when they’re asked to appear they turn up and they put their arguments.”

Other speakers who gave evidence included Ed Sheeran’s manager Stuart Camp, Hamilton producer Cameron Macintosh, Stuart Galbraith of promoter Kilimanjaro Live, journalist Mark McGivern and Claire Turnham of the Victims of Viagogo group.

“It says something about their lack of self-respect and the shady nature of their operations that they feel they can’t appear here and answer questions,” Nicolson added.