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Image credit: Stephen Lam / Reuters

Ticketmaster shuts down its UK ticket resale sites

It's launching a fan-to-fan exchange for tickets at the original price or less.
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Stephen Lam / Reuters

After a UK watchdog threatened legal action, Ticketmaster has announced that it's shutting down its second-hand ticket reselling sites, Get Me In and Seatwave. Instead, the site is launching a fan-to-fan ticket exchange that lets you buy or sell tickets at the original price or less. The new site will roll out in October in the UK and Ireland (and in Europe in early 2019), but as of today, you'll no longer be able to buy tickets for new events on Get Me In and Seatwave.

Ticketmaster is painting the decision as a generous move, and that it has the best interests of fans at heart. "We've listed and we hear you: secondary sites just don't cut it anymore and you're tired of seeing others snap up tickets just to resell for a profit," it said. "All we want is you, the fan, to be able to safely buy tickets to the events you love."

However, it seems more likely that Ticketmaster closed the site because of ongoing government enforcement. Because of numerous consumer complaints, UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) forced Seatwave and Get Me In to cut out hidden charges, provide better support and inform consumers about ticket restrictions. That triggered a wider investigation, during which the CMA reportedly raided the offices of Ticketmaster rivals StubHub and Viagogo.

Some US states like New York have also been looking into scalping and overcharging by services like Ticketmaster. The company is well known for the ridiculous surcharges tacked onto the price of concerts, sports and other live events. Ticketmaster didn't say what the fees, if any, it would charge for the new fan-to-fan site, but we've reached out for more information.

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