StubHub and Viagogo raided in UK ticket touting probe

Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) apparently seized data relating to the companies' biggest resellers.
Matt Brian
M. Brian|11.10.17

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Matt Brian
November 10th, 2017
Getty Images for Amazon Tickets
Getty Images for Amazon Tickets

Scalpers aren't unique to the UK, but the government has made stamping out ticket touts one of its top priorities. Ministers have already set out legislation as part of the Digital Economy Act that will make the use of ticket-buying bots illegal, but regulators are also putting the squeeze on secondary ticket sellers. The Guardian reports that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) raided the offices of secondary ticket marketplaces StubHub and Viagogo as part of a probe into "suspected breaches of consumer law."

According to sources, CMA officials raided the offices in August and seized information about the companies' dealings with popular ticket touts, who buy up tickets for popular events with the intention of selling them on with a high mark-up. The watchdog had earlier issued four ticket resale companies -- including GetMeIn and Seatwave -- with an "information notice" asking for information on their relationships with major resellers and the money they've earnt from ticket sales.

GetMeIn and Seatwave handed over what was asked of them, but eBay-owned StubHub and Swiss-based Viagogo did not comply.

It's believed that officials targeted data relating to StubHub's "top seller" programme, which provides its biggest resellers -- who sell more than $250,000 worth of tickets a year -- with exclusive discounts on fees and a dedicated platform that allows them to better manage their listings.

StubHub said in a statement: "We understand the CMA investigation is ongoing and therefore await the outcome of this."

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