The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has today announced that Viagogo’s acquisition of StubHub will be referred for an in depth investigation.

This on the basis that the deal might constitute a relevant “merger situation” and result in a substantial lessening of competition within the UK market.

FanFair Alliance has welcomed the announcement and issued the following statement:

Over recent years, there have been major steps forward in the UK to eradicate the bad practices of sites like Viagogo and StubHub and those of the large-scale ticket touts who dominate their supply chain. 

They have agreed to reforms grudgingly. It took a court order and escalated warnings from the CMA to force Viagogo’s compliance with a whole range of consumer protection laws. The company’s treatment of UK audiences has been scandalous. 

Even in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the thought of such a business monopolising “for profit” secondary ticketing remains highly problematic. Viagogo’s predatory marketing practices and business model continue to endanger audiences, and its $4.05bn acquisition of StubHub raises acute competition concerns, particularly in the UK. 

Earlier this month, Viagogo was required to deliver a clear-cut solution to address these concerns.

They have failed to do this. FanFair Alliance therefore welcomes the CMA’s decision to refer the merger for an in-depth investigation.