Industry News

StubHub tells Irish government to forget price caps

StubHub has told the Irish government to forget limiting prices and instead follow the UK by pursuing legislation that tackles bots.

StubHub, whose European customer service is based at owner eBay’s offices in Dublin, told a government consultation on reselling that price caps “drive resale onto the streets and other parts of the internet where there is no consumer protection” and are therefore ineffective.

According to the Times newspaper, StubHub told a government consultation on the sector that the authorities should follow the UK’s lead by focusing on botnets. It said price caps could be “easily evaded”.

In a further submission, exchange site Toutless said legislation should seek to prevent profiteering. “Our suggestion is that over- face-value selling is made illegal, with suitable fines put in place to dissuade offenders, but with transfer of tickets for face value being protected. This is the outcome we feel benefits the average person,” the Irish company said.

The consultation document, introduced by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport in January, indicates that the government is considering legislative options including a cap on the mark-up that could be applied to tickets offered for resale, or even an outright ban on resales.

The consultation came after widespread criticism of the resale sector in Ireland. U2 fans were furious in January when tickets that had yet to be released on general sale were being offered on Seatwave for €900 (€793/$955).

In January, Ireland’s competition watchdog began a formal investigation of “suspected breaches of competition law” in the ticketing of live events.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CPCC) said its investigation would focus in the main on potentially anti-competitive conduct by operators including those involved in providing tickets and ticketing services, promoters and venues.