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The Week Ahead Europe: UK regulators take legal action against viagogo

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The Week Ahead Europe: UK regulators take legal action against viagogo

A U.K. Parliament committee will this week hear evidence from members of the secondary ticketing industry, after the Competition and Markets Authority announced legal proceedings against ticket reseller viagogo over breaches to consumer protection law.

Ticketmaster UK Ltd's Managing Director Andrew Parsons, viagogo head of business development and sales Cristopher Miller and StubHub's U.K. and Ireland country manager and regional manager northern EMEA, Wayne Grierson, will testify in a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee hearing as part of an ongoing inquiry into live music.

The hearing and court proceedings against viagogo follow a wider investigation into the big four secondary ticket sites — eBay Inc.'s StubHub, viagogo, Ticketmaster's Seatwave Ltd. and GET ME IN! — as regulators in Britain step up efforts to combat online ticket resellers' lack of transparency.

The investigation resulted in enforcement action in 2017 by the U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority, which ordered ticketing websites to include the total ticket price at the start of the booking process, including booking fees, non-optional taxes and delivery fees.

The Advertising Standards Authority also stripped viagogo of its claim to be an "official site" with the "100% Guarantee," due to given its status as a secondary ticketing outlet and the "reasonable risk" of ticket-holders not being granted entry.

Ticketmaster has since announced it would shut down GET ME IN! and Seatwave in October.

Competition and Markets Authority CEO Andrea Coscelli said Aug. 31 that viagogo was still not offering full transparency to ticket-buyers on a number of areas, including the risk of being turned away at the door, as well as the availability and popularity of tickets.

"Unfortunately, while other businesses have agreed to overhaul their sites to ensure they respect the law, viagogo has not," he said, adding that "we will now be pursuing action through the courts to ensure that they comply with the law."

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Sept. 3 The European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs is expected to vote on a new proposal aimed at combating noncash payments amid rising levels of cybercrime.
Sept. 5 The European Committee of the Regions, a European Union advisory body, is holding a consultation meeting on road safety and automated mobility.
Sept. 4 British advertising giant WPP PLC reports interim results for the six months ended June 30, following the Sept. 3 announcement of Mark Read's appointment as CEO and executive director.
Sept. 5 Live music industry representatives, including Andrew Parsons, managing director at Ticketmaster U.K., Wayne Grierson, U.K. managing director at StubHub, and Cristopher Miller, head of business development at vagogo, to address the U.K. Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in a hearing as part of its live-music inquiry.
Industry events:
Sept. 5-6 Mobile Growth Summit Europe 2018 (Berlin)

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