UK: StubHub, GetMeIn!, Seatwave To Become More Transparent

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has confirmed that StubHub, GetMeIn! and Seatwave formally committed to making sure customers know all there is to know about resold tickets.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority
– The UK Competition and Markets Authority
Stubhub, Seatwave and GetMeIn! have listened to CMA. Viagogo has not.

The information provided by the resale sites has to include “whether there is a risk a customer might be turned away at the door, which seat in the venue the customer will get, and who is selling the tickets, so customers can benefit from enhanced legal rights when buying from a business,” according to a CMA statement.

Sellers on these sites need to provide all of the required information, and the websites themselves will update their front-ends so the information is easily detectable.

Wayne Grierson, Stubhub’s general manager for northern EMEA, commented: “StubHub has worked closely with the CMA and we welcome the announcement. This means that fans will have even more information about the tickets they are buying. As our industry evolves, this is an important step in restoring consumer confidence. Our vision is that the wider industry will embrace transparency in the interest of fans.”

Ticketmaster declined Pollstar’s request for comment.

Viagogo, unsurprisingly, maintains its strategy of keeping silent, and has not agreed to make the changes. The company has been notified about the CMA’s plans to take legal action.

“So far Viagogo has failed to address our concerns, and we are determined to ensure they comply with the law. We are prepared to use the full range of our powers to protect customers – including action through the courts,” said Michael Grenfell, the CMA’s executive director for enforcement.

The CMA launched its secondary ticketing investigation in 2016. Last November, it announced it would be taking enforcement action against the aforementioned companies, should they not comply with consumer protection laws.

Adam Webb,  campaign manager for the FanFair Alliance, which is on the forefront of the UK’s efforts to curb for-profit ticket resale, commented: “Today’s CMA announcement is vindication for the FanFair Alliance campaign to overhaul the online ticket resale market. UK audiences have been taken for a ride for too long by the biggest secondary platforms and the dedicated touts who fuel their business. 

“They will now be forced to dramatically change their practices and provide proper transparency. This cannot come soon enough.” 

Speaking about Viagogo, Webb added: “It is disappointing, though hardly unexpected, that Viagogo continues to flout the law and mislead the British public. If they fail to follow their competitors and make similar commitments, then we expect to see prosecution for non-compliance at the earliest opportunity.”

The Fair Ticketing Alliance, the UK’s newly formed industry body for the secondary ticketing sector, welcomed the commitment by Stubhub, GetMeIn! and Seatwave – which are the platforms the alliance’s members are conducting their business on – to become more transparent.

One member, Scot Tobias, commented: “We want consumers to be able to make clear, informed decisions when buying tickets on the secondary market, and we welcome the CMA’s view that these changes will help people pick the best deals for them. The FTA supports a secondary marketplace that offers choice, trust and flexibility and we believe that today’s announcement is another big step in the right direction.”