Last week the UK’s Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) revealed that it is preparing to launch contempt of court proceedings against secondary ticketing site Viagogo.
The CMA’s latest action follows several warnings that the secondary ticketing site has not done enough to overhaul the way it presents information on its website in order to comply with UK consumer protection law.
In September 2018 the CMA initiated legal proceedings against Viagogo in the High Court following an investigation into the secondary ticketing sector.
In November the CMA obtained a High Court judgement ordering Viagogo “to overhaul the way it does business”.
The CMA then put out a statement on March 5 saying that it was preparing to take further legal action to ask a court to find the company in contempt for failing to comply with the previous court order.
Also in March, UK Members of Parliament (MPs) advised the public ‘not to buy or sell tickets’ through secondary the platform.
The CMA says that, following the completion of further checks and an independent review of the ticketing platform’s compliance with the order, it has found that “many positive changes have been made”.
It adds however that “these are not enough, in the CMA’s view, to comply fully with the court order” and will therefore be asking a court to find the company in contempt of court.
On Friday (July 4) Viagogo released a statement via Twitter (see below) in which it said that it found out about the legal proceedings via the CMA press release and that it denies the allegations.
The company added: “We have recently completed a 3rd part review which has given us approval that we are reaching compliance with the requirements.
“It is important to note that no contempt of court has actually been filed against us at this time, and we have until July 18 to respond to the CMA’s concerns.”
— viagogo corporate (@viagogo_corp) July 4, 2019
“It is simply not good enough that Viagogo is continuing to drag its heels by not complying in full with this important court order.”
Andrea Coscelli, CMA
Andrea Coscelli, CMA Chief Executive Officer, said: “It is simply not good enough that Viagogo is continuing to drag its heels by not complying in full with this important court order.
“We secured the order on behalf of people who use these resale websites and deserve to know the facts before parting with their hard-earned money.
“After the CMA repeatedly raised concerns with Viagogo, and also took the time needed to give proper consideration to the findings of an independent review of Viagogo’s compliance, we are very concerned that it still hasn’t done what it was ordered to do. We are now taking the next step in legal action to ask a court to find Viagogo in contempt.
“FanFair Alliance fully supports the CMA’s decision in taking further action against Viagogo and asking a court to find them in contempt.”
Adam Webb, FanFair Alliance
Adam Webb, Campaign Manager, FanFair Alliance said: “FanFair Alliance fully supports the CMA’s decision in taking further action against Viagogo and asking a court to find them in contempt.
“Our campaign has consistently raised serious concerns that Viagogo remains short of full compliance with UK consumer law, and trust that any court action will take place without delay.
“This company can be allowed no more excuses to delay or drag its heels.”Music Business Worldwide