StubHub has criticised Ticketmaster’s decision to close Get Me In! and Seatwave and launch a new fan-to-fan exchange stating the move remains secondary ticketing in “all but name”.

Ticketmaster made the decision earlier this month after claiming “secondary sites just don’t cut it anymore.” It said its new exchange would be launched in October in the UK and Ireland, and across Europe early next year.

The ticketing giant’s ownership of the two resale sites has proved controversial, with many industry watchers and fans suggesting a too cosy relationship between the primary and secondary sector. Ticketmaster said it took the action after listening to the public, accepting people are “tired of seeing others snap up tickets just to resell for a profit”.

However, StubHub has questioned the real motives behind the move. Wayne Grierson, regional manager for the Northern EMEA region at StubHub, told the Music Week website: “This move by Ticketmaster is secondary ticketing in all but name. It is simply a step to consolidate the ticketing market and will ultimately mean that consumers have less choice.

“We have seen the impact of similar approaches by Ticketmaster in the US, which makes the ticketing experience less transparent, since the total availability of tickets for an event are not disclosed.

“If the goal is providing fans with the best purchasing experience, it should be far easier to get tickets in the first place. Tens of thousands of tickets – as many as 54 per cent on average in some markets – never even go on public sale.

“StubHub strongly believes that an open, competitive, transparent secondary ticketing market which is subject to consumer protection serves consumers best.”

Seatwave was founded by industry veteran Joe Cohen in 2006 and acquired by Ticketmaster in 2014. Get Me In! was formed in 2003 and bought in 2008.

Image: StickerGiant