The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has told secondary ticketing platform StubHub that it needs to fix issues identified on the company’s UK website or face court action for potentially breaking consumer law.
According to a release published today (January 29), the CMA is concerned that StubHub has been failing to adequately warn people that tickets may not get them into an event and using misleading messages about ticket availability.
In addition, the CMA states that StubHub might be targeting UK consumers with tickets for events listed on overseas versions of their websites, which may not comply with UK law.
StubHub’s UK site is also potentially failing to ensure people know exactly where they will sit in a venue, says the CMA, as well as failing to take sufficient steps to ensure that the full addresses of business sellers are displayed.
“We will closely monitor the firm’s efforts and, if it does not quickly implement changes that satisfy us, we will take further action – potentially through the courts.”
Andrea Coscelli, CMA (pictureD)
Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, said: “StubHub had previously committed to make important changes to the information on its site, so anyone buying a ticket would know what they were getting before parting with their money. It’s therefore unacceptable that we have now found these concerns.
“We have demanded swift action to resolve these problems and are pleased that StubHub has said it will make changes in response. We will closely monitor the firm’s efforts and, if it does not quickly implement changes that satisfy us, we will take further action – potentially through the courts.
“As we continue to examine these consumer cases, it is now imperative that the CMA is given stronger powers to rule on whether a company has broken the law and impose fines if needed. We will continue to work with the Government on the most effective way to achieve this.”
“If StubHub and other secondary ticketing platforms continue to mislead UK audiences, we would urge the CMA to take decisive action through the courts.”
Adam Webb, FanFair Alliance
Adam Webb, Campaign Manager, FanFair Alliance, which campaigns against industrial-scale online ticket touting, 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.”Music Business Worldwide