Secondary tickets market under renewed scrutiny

The Competition and Market Authority (CMA) has launched an enforcement investigation into the online secondary tickets market. 

This follows an initial review by the CMA of the four main secondary ticketing websites, which found one website was not complying with the Consumer Rights Act. A public petition compelling the CMA to enforce the Consumer Rights Act gained over 80,000 signatures earlier this year. 

The new investigation will look into suspected breaches of consumer protection law in the sector, following concerns that consumers are not getting the full range of information required by law when buying tickets put up for resale.

“We have heard concerns about a lack of transparency over who is buying up tickets from the primary market,” said Andrea Coscelli, CMA acting chief executive. “We also think that it is essential that those consumers who buy tickets from the secondary market are made aware if there is a risk that they will be turned away at the door.

“We have therefore decided to open a sector-wide investigation to ensure that customers are made aware of important information that they are legally entitled to. If we find breaches of consumer law, we will take enforcement action.”

Under specific scrutiny are details concerning any connection that may exist between the seller and the platform or event organiser. Further scrutiny will review any restrictions on the use of re-sold tickets that could result in a person being denied access to an event, as well as confirmation of seat location within a venue.

New signees for FanFair Alliance

In a further blow to online ticket touts – who exploit the secondary tickets market for profit – four more leading ticketing companies have signed the FanFair Alliance Declaration.

Gigantic, See Tickets, Skiddle and The Ticket Factory join more than 100 music managers, agents, promoters, entrepreneurs, ticket retailers and trade bodies supporting the campaign. 

The Declaration asks supporters to take five actions to ensure face value tickets reach fans, as well as measures to disrupt the practices of online ticket touts. FanFair supports the exchange or resale of tickets for face value. 

“There is a clear trend emerging between those who want to tackle industrial-scale touting and those who profit from it, and we are delighted that these four companies have signed the FanFair Declaration,” said the campaign’s manager, Adam Webb.