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Ticketmaster pressed by MPs on tout failures

Ticketmaster faced tough questioning about its complete failure to prevent touts from harvesting tickets to resell for a profit during a hearing on secondary ticketing in UK Parliament.

Scottish MP Brendan O’Hara accused Ticketmaster UK’s managing director Andrew Parsons of shutting their secondary sites GetMeIn! and Seatwave only due to the repeated uncovering of large-scale scalping.

During the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee hearing, the MP said, according to the Daily Record: “Is it true you have been dragged kicking and screaming to this position and you are trying to spin your way out of it?”

Parsons responded by acknowledging the anger and frustration that the secondary market causes real fans.

He said: “Primary selling is at the heart of what we do. I understand the focus those resale businesses received and I can understand the frustrations that fans have had with those businesses.

“That’s why we are glad to be moving forward with a new fan-to-fan exchange model. It’s going to be a very positive move for the industry.”

The same hearing saw controversial resale firm Viagogo once again refuse to show up, citing the legal action the firm is taking against Kilimanjaro Live. A letter to the Committee said that its head of business development and sales, Christopher Miller, would be unable to give evidence before the Committee, stating that it feared any statements could be used against Viagogo in its upcoming legal proceedings.

DCMS chair, Damien Collins, responded: “Viagogo’s non-attendance is a gross discourtesy, the more so given the company’s failure to attend last year.”

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