UK-based ticket touts Peter Hunter and David Smith were found guilty of fraud today (February 11) over an £11 million reselling scheme.
As reported by the Guardian today, the pair, who traded as Ticket Wiz and BZZ, ‘used multiple identities and bots to buy £4m worth of tickets to events’.
Some of those events included Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift concerts.
The court was told that the tickets were resold on secondary sites for £10.8m, including GetMeIn and Seatwave, which were shut by owner Ticketmaster in 2018.
Elsewhere in the UK’s secondary ticketing market, in December, the country’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a Phase 1 inquiry into Switzerland-based secondary ticketing company Viagogo’s proposed $4.05 billion cash acquisition of eBay’s ticketing division StubHub.
The acquisition is now officially on pause after the CMA issued an enforcement order stating the two companies are banned from anything that may “lead to the integration of the StubHub business with the Viagogo business or “transfer the ownership or control of the Viagogo business or the StubHub business or any of their subsidiaries” while the CMA mulls over whether to launch a fuller investigation into the deal.
“Given the outcome of this case, it is now urgent that National Trading Standards are resourced to increase the scope of their investigations, and for the Competition & Markets Authority to apply further scrutiny towards the secondary ticketing market overall.”
Adam Webb, FanFair Alliance
Adam Webb, campaign manager for FanFair Alliance which campaigns against industrial-scale online ticket touting, said: “Today’s verdict shines further light on the murky world of secondary ticketing, and the dependency of websites such as Viagogo and StubHub upon large-scale commercial ticket resellers.
“We strongly suspect Peter Hunter and David Smith are not exceptional, and that other suppliers to these sites may also acquire tickets by unlawful means – no questions asked.
“Given the outcome of this case, it is now urgent that National Trading Standards are resourced to increase the scope of their investigations, and for the Competition & Markets Authority to apply further scrutiny towards the secondary ticketing market overall.
“If the likes of Viagogo, StubHub and other secondary sites operate without due diligence then their directors must be held to account.”Music Business Worldwide