UK Government launches probe into secondary ticket market

A generic picture of fans at a rock gig
(Image credit: Getty)

The British Government has launched an investigation into suspected breaches of consumer protection law in the online secondary tickets market.

The government’s Competition And Markets Authority (CMA) says the investigation “follows concerns that people are not getting the full range of information required by law when buying tickets put up for resale.”

The CMA will specifically look at if information is provided on who the seller is and any connections the seller may have with the platform or event organisers as well as whether there are any restrictions on the use of resold tickets which could result in the person being denied access to the event. It also want it to be clearer to the buyer where a seat is located in the venue.

Andrea Coscelli, the CMA’s Acting Chief Executive, says: “A night out at a concert or a trip to a big match is something that millions of people look forward to. So it’s important they know who they are buying from and whether there are any restrictions that could stop them using the ticket.

“We have heard concerns about a lack of transparency over who is buying up tickets from the primary market. We also think that it is essential that those consumers who buy tickets from the secondary market are made aware if there is a risk that they will be turned away at the door.”

She continues: “We have therefore decided to open a sector-wide investigation to ensure that customers are made aware of important information that they are legally entitled to. If we find breaches of consumer law, we will take enforcement action.”

Earlier this year, the CMA reviewed the four main secondary ticketing websites in the UK and found that one of them was not abiding by the rules. The other three have all changed their practices to follow the law, the CMA says.

Meanwhile, in the USA, President Barack Obama has signed the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act into law, making it an offence across the entire country to use computer software to buy event tickets online.

Bands including Iron Maiden, Radiohead and Foo Fighters have called for action to be taken against ticket touts and the secondary ticket market.

Maiden & Radiohead stand up to touts

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.