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Viagogo agrees to changes after watchdog’s legal action

Viagogo is to publish face value ticket price information on its website and “overhaul the way it does business” after agreeing to comply with a court order issued following enforcement action by the UK’s competition watchdog.

The company said today that it had reached a “ground-breaking settlement” with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). It said the agreement brings to an end the legal dispute between the two parties, which dates back to 2012.

The CMA, which began legal action against Viagogo in August, said the operator must make a series of changes by mid-January or risk a resumption of enforcement proceedings.

The CMA confirmed Viagogo must tell purchasers of tickets if there is a risk that they will be turned away at the door and inform customers which seat in the venue they will get. They must provide information about who is selling the ticket, and not give misleading information about the availability and popularity of tickets.

Viagogo has also agreed to take action that will “make it easy for people to get their money back under Viagogo’s guarantee when things go wrong” and prevent the sale of tickets a seller does not own and may not be able to supply.

In a statement, Viagogo said the agreement will “enable buyers and sellers to exchange tickets with more transparency and additional information, such as face value, will be displayed on the website.” Viagogo added that the settlement “reflects a desire that the consumer has as much information as possible before making their purchase decision.”

A Viagogo spokesperson said: “We are pleased that we have been able to work closely with the CMA to come to an agreement that provides even greater transparency to consumers.”

The settlement comes three months after the CMA issued court proceedings against Viagogo over concerns it is breaking consumer protection law.

It began enforcement action against four major secondary ticketing websites – Viagogo, GetMeIn, Seatwave and StubHub – in November 2017. As a result, all but Viagogo offered formal commitments in April 2018 to overhaul the way they do business.

In a statement issued today, Andrea Coscelli, the CMA’s chief executive, said: “This court order is a victory for anyone who decides to buy a ticket through Viagogo.

“We have been clear throughout our investigation that people who use these resale websites must know key facts before parting with their hard-earned money, including what seat they will get and whether there is a risk they might not actually get into the event at all.

“Viagogo has agreed to a comprehensive overhaul of its site to ensure it respects the law, just like the other resale sites who have already signed commitments to improve the information they offer and give people a fair deal.”

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