This morning, following a series of concerns raised by FanFair Alliance and others, the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) have demanded that controversial secondary ticketing platform StubHub make a number of urgent changes to its UK website – or face court action.

CMA states that StubHub has been:

– failing to adequately warn people that tickets may not get them into an event

– using misleading messages about ticket availability

– targeting UK consumers with tickets for events listed on overseas versions of their websites, which may not comply with UK law

– failing to ensure people know exactly where they will sit in a venue

– failing to take sufficient steps to ensure that the full addresses of business sellers are displayed

More information here.

In response Adam Webb, Campaign Manager, FanFair Alliance said:

“This is a welcome announcement from the CMA, which again highlights continuing dysfunctions in the secondary ticketing market.

“StubHub have had years to comply with UK consumer law, they were forced to sign legal undertakings in April 2018, and yet they still fall short of expected standards. If StubHub and other secondary ticketing platforms continue to mislead UK audiences, we would urge the CMA to take decisive action through the courts.

“Today’s developments should also provide yet more impetus for regulators to thoroughly investigate the proposed merger between viagogo and StubHub.”

Following a litany of complaints about its business practices, StubHub’s operators were forced to agree to legal undertakings in April 2018, committing them to abide by all aspects of consumer protection law.

In November 2019, viagogo announced their intention to acquire StubHub for $4.05bn.

A separate CMA investigation is ongoing into this anticipated purchase to which FanFair has already submitted substantial evidence.

Viagogo, which remains StubHub’s only UK competitor in “for profit” secondary ticketing, has been equally beset by controversies and was served a court order by the CMA in November 2018.

A contempt action for consistent breaches of this order was only suspended after a succession of advanced and incremental warnings from the CMA.

The CMA continues to monitor viagogo and has stated it will act if it finds evidence that the site might not be complying with consumer protection law.