UK: Viagogo taken to Court by Competition Regulator
By Jonathan Copping, Lawyer, Stone King, London, UK The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a legal action against ticket reseller Viagogo in respect of alleged breaches of consumer protection law. Viagogo resells tickets to consumers for an array of events, including sports events. The tickets are often sold for prices in excess of the original price. This legal action follows a long running investigation into the secondary ticketing sector. The CMA commenced enforcement action against Viagogo and three other websites (StubHub, GETMEIN! and Seatwave) in November 2017. All of the websites, except Viagogo, complied with the CMA’s requirements. The failure by Viagogo to comply with the requirements has now led to the CMA commencing legal action in the UK High Court of Justice. The CMA is concerned that Viagogo is breaking consumer law, because customers are:
- not being told if there is a risk that they will be turned away at the door;
- not being informed which seat in the venue they will get;
- not being told who is selling the ticket, so that they can benefit from enhanced legal rights when buying from a business;
- given misleading information about the availability and popularity of tickets, which has the potential to lead to them being rushed into making a buying decision or making the wrong choice;
- experiencing difficulties in getting their money back under Viagogo’s guarantee, when things go wrong; and
- being offered tickets that a seller does not own and may not be able to supply.