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Ed Sheeran promoter sued by Viagogo over alleged fraud

Viagogo has announced today (Tuesday) that it is suing the promotion company of Ed Sheeran for alleged fraud.

The Guardian newspaper reports that Viagogo has commenced legal proceedings against Kilimanjaro Live, whose chief executive is Stuart Galbraith, following the promoter’s alleged cancellation of thousands of Viagogo-bought tickets for Sheeran concerts.

Galbraith has been accused of “confiscating thousands of genuine tickets at the gate, forcing fans to buy new tickets, and pocketing millions of pounds in duplicate sales”. The Guardian’s report added that the newspaper had contacted Galbraith, who said he was unaware of the proceedings.

The NME website added that Viagogo has accused Galbraith of setting up fake Viagogo stalls at Sheeran concerts. The stalls were allegedly used to inform fans with genuine tickets that they were in fact void, and that fans should buy new tickets and seek a refund from Viagogo.

The proceedings have been launched ahead of Viagogo’s hearing with UK MPs tomorrow, when it is set to answer for a host of controversies. It comes almost a year after Viagogo refused to appear in front of MPs at a previous evidence session.

Viagogo, which is already involved in several investigations for alleged offences including breaches of consumer law, is said to be sending vice-president of business development Christopher Miller to tomorrow’s hearing.

The hearing will come on the back of the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announcement on Friday that it is taking Viagogo to court for allegedly breaking consumer protection laws.

The watchdog said that the resale website had failed to make sufficient changes, following previous warnings, to bring it in line with regulations.

The CMA initiated enforcement action against four resale platforms in November 2017 following a probe into the secondary ticketing industry.

GetMeIn, Seatwave and StubHub made the necessary changes, but the CMA said in a statement on Friday that Viagogo had continued to contravene the law by failing to tell customers there is a risk they could be turned away at the door of events, due to restrictions placed on some resold tickets.

Earlier today, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) dropped a complaint against Viagogo after stating that it had secured pricing changes to the company’s business model that satisfy its concerns.

Image: Markus Hillgärtner