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Court orders Viagogo to become more transparent about ticket sales

Secondary ticket site Viagogo is to overhaul the way it operates, after a court order forced it to give consumers more information about what they are buying.

The Competition and Markets Authority launched legal action against the company earlier this year, following concerns it was breaking consumer protection law.

In recent months, the ticketing site has come under increased scrutiny. National Trading Standards launched an investigation into “misleading pricing information” on Viagogo’s site [1].

Earlier this year, Google was also urged to take action against the site by preventing Viagogo from paying to be at the top of search results [2].

A court order secured by the CMA instructs Viagogo to comply with the law by giving purchasers more information, including whether there is a risk of them being turned away at the door and informing customers what seat they will get. The order also demands information is provided about the person selling the ticket, so “people can benefit from enhanced legal rights”.

Viagogo must prevent the sale of tickets a seller does not own, and must not give “misleading information about the availability and popularity of tickets”.

The legal action follows pledges from secondary sites StubHub, Get Me In! and Seatwave [3] in August to ensure customers get better information about tickets on their sites.

While StubHub, Get Me In! and Seatwave publicly committed to increased transparency, Viagogo, which is routinely criticised for being the worst offender, did not.

The CMA subsequently took legal action against the company.

CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said: “This court order is a victory for anyone who decides to buy a ticket through Viagogo.”

He added: “Viagogo has agreed to a comprehensive overhaul of its site to ensure it respects the law, just like the other resale sites who have already signed commitments to improve the information they offer and give people a fair deal.”

If Viagogo fails to comply with the court order, the company could face a fine. Certain individuals involved “could face imprisonment”, the CMA said.

A statement from Viagogo said: “We are pleased that we have been able to work closely with the CMA to come to an agreement that provides even greater transparency to consumers.”

The company has until mid-January to comply.