CMA to take enforcement action on secondary ticketing sites

The Competition and Markets Authority will also engage with event organisers to help them to avoid being challenged for using unfair terms to restrict the resale of their tickets
By Tara Lepore ,

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced it will take action against secondary ticketing websites suspected of breaking consumer protection law.

The proposed action follows an investigation into the sector that identified widespread concern about the information would-be ticket buyers are given, as well as evidence that the CMA considers reveal breaches of the law.

The CMA is raising its concerns with a number of these websites and will be requiring them to take action where necessary.

CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said: "We are putting our concerns to these websites and will be requiring the changes necessary to tackle them. We will use the full range of our powers to get the right outcome for these sites’ customers – including taking action through the courts if needed."

The CMA has now broadened its original investigation to include pressure selling (where false claims of availability might pressure a customer to rush into buying tickets), difficulties for customers in getting their money back under a website’s guarantee, and speculative selling (where businesses advertise tickets for sale that they do not yet own and therefore may not be able to supply).

The CMA has said it will gather and assess evidence on these additional issues before deciding on whether further enforcement action is required. It will also be engaging with event organisers to help them to avoid being challenged for using unfair terms to restrict the resale of their tickets.

FanFair Alliance, who conducted research into secondary ticket sales, added: "We are especially pleased the CMA will expand the scope of their investigation. Beyond suspected breaches of consumer protection law, we believe the largest ticket resale platforms are riddled with bad practice, including speculative ticket listings, pressure selling and collusion with large-scale ticket touts.”