Expert legal advice from the competition lawyers

Suspected breach of consumer protection law on secondary ticketing websites

First published by Author on March 10, 2021 in the following categories: Advertising Consumer Law Industry Investigations and tagged with | | |

cma ticket investigation

There has been a suspected breach of consumer protection law on secondary ticketing websites that the Competition Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating.

After the original review of secondary ticketing websites involving StubHub, GET ME IN! and Seatwave in 2018, the CMA is further investigating the compliance of some after alleged concerns about compliance with UK consumer law.

Stubhub & Viagogo

The CMA has been further investigating secondary ticketing websites including StubHub and Viagogo, after allegations of suspected breaches of UK consumer law.

StubHub was investigated after concerns about its alleged use of misleading messages over ticket availability and adverts for events listings overseas. The worry was that such messaging was potentially not compliant with UK consumer law. On the 28th January 2020, the CMA told StubHub that it needed “to make changes to its site after identifying problems” that were alleged to be a breach of consumer law. In August 2020, StubHub addressed these concerns and made changes to its website.

You can read more about the CMA investigations here.

Subject to a court order CMA secured on Viagogo in 2018, Viagogo is set to also undergo an independent yearly review until 2023. The CMA suspended further court action after Viagogo addressed website concerns following CMA reviews. Viagogo was due its next yearly independent review in October last year.

The CMA’s investigation into secondary ticketing websites

The CMA’s investigation has been looking into “suspected breaches of consumer protection law” across various secondary ticketing websites. This investigation was raised after the CMA identified concerns that people may not be getting the full range of information that they are required to get under consumer protection law when buying resale tickets. This was highlighted in the CMA’s 2016 compliance review.

On 28 November 2017, the CMA announced that it would take enforcement action against secondary ticketing websites that were suspected of breaking consumer protection law. Following this announcement, in April 2018, StubHub, GETMEIN! and Seatwave formally committed to ensuring better information would be given about resold tickets on their websites. This work was to build on the changes they had already implemented to their platforms during the course of the CMA’s investigation.

The importance of consumer protection law

The CMA has been regularly reviewing secondary ticketing websites to make sure there are no further concerns over potential breaches of consumer protection law. It is important that customers have the full information they need and know exactly what they are doing when purchasing from secondary ticketing websites.

No one should lose out financially, or from not knowing other options available to them, due to a company’s possible misconduct. As a competition and consumer action law firm, we know just how important it is for companies to get this kind of thing right. Consumers must always be protected, and no one should lose out through mis-selling or inappropriate advertising, or from a lack of information.

The CMA will continue to monitor secondary ticketing websites and we recognise the importance of this work. We will also be keeping a close eye on developments moving forward as well.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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