Industry News

Parliamentary inquiry axed ahead of election

FanFair Alliance hopes the Parliamentary inquiry into ticket abuse will be resurrected after June’s General Election, following the cancellation of the existing investigation.

The Culture, Media & Sports (CMS) Committee has held two evidence sessions over the last six months, and was due to continue its work later in the year.

However, the Committee has announced its upcoming evidence sessions have been cancelled in light of the imminent dissolution of Parliament. Other inquiries relate to matters such as ‘Combatting Doping in Sport’, ‘Football Governance’, The impact of Brexit on the creative industries, tourism and the Digital Single Market’ and ‘Fake News’.

Committee chairman Damian Collins said “there is no bar to our successors in the next Parliament taking up the evidence received…and finishing them”. He added: “Given the importance of all these subjects, we hope that the new Committee will do so.”

Adam Webb, of FanFair Alliance, the pressure group that wants to force changes in the UK’s secondary ticketing market, told The Ticketing Business that he hopes a new Committee will continue the work of their predecessors.

“Through its two evidence sessions on ticket abuse, the Culture Media & Sport Committee has helped shed light on what its Chair, Damian Collins MP, has described as a ‘national scandal’,” Webb told The Ticketing Business.

“Because of the General Election all current inquiries have unfortunately now ended, but we are optimistic that post June 8 a new incoming Committee will see ticket touting as ‘unfinished business’, and consider picking up the reins. The ongoing concerns about Viagogo, in particular, are still unanswered.”

The Committee held evidence sessions in November 2016 and March 2017, with the latter hearing snubbed by Viagogo as they controversially refused to send a representative to meet MPs. Those who did give evidence included See Tickets chief executive Rob Wilmshurst, Ed Sheeran’s manager Stuart Camp and music tour promoter Stuart Galbraith.

Following evidence gathered in November, the Committee asked the Culture Secretary to call for the tax authorities to look into potential under-reporting of income. An HMRC investigation subsequently commenced, while the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an enforcement investigation into the four main secondary ticketing platforms.