Viagogo’s decision to back down in its legal battle with the UK’s competition watchdog has been described as “excellent news” by MP Sharon Hodgson, a leading voice in the campaign for fairer ticketing.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Tuesday announced that the resale platform had agreed to comply with a court order that forces it to make a series of changes to how it sells tickets by the middle of January 2019.
Hodgson, the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse, said: “This is excellent news that Viagogo are now being legally forced to be transparent by the courts. Even though they should have been doing this years ago, it is great news for consumers.”
The move was also cautiously welcomed by Twickets founder Richard Davies, who has concerns as to how much Viagogo will amend its practices in the early part of next year.
He told TheTicketingBusiness.com: “Obviously it’s great news that the CMA have been successful in their action against Viagogo, and we welcome the decision from the court.
“However, despite the statement that they ‘have reached an agreement’ with the regulatory body to comply with the law, we wait to see if Viagogo will actually do so in reality and on a permanent basis. Their track record hasn’t been great in this regard to date.”
Adam Webb, campaign manager at the FanFair Alliance said Viagogo should have followed rivals such as StubHub in agreeing to make changes well before a court order was needed.
He said: “While the UK’s ticket resale market undergoes a long-awaited transformation, Viagogo has effectively become a rogue operator. That it’s required a court order to force their compliance with existing legislation is nothing short of extraordinary.
“Effectively, it means Viagogo have been given until mid-January to overhaul their bad practices. If they fail to do that, they should feel the full force of the law.”
Meanwhile, Daily Record journalist Mark McGivern, who has regularly covered stories about Viagogo, mocked the company’s own announcement about the development, with the company having claimed in a press release it had reached a “settlement” with the CMA.
He tweeted: “THIS isn’t an agreement – it’s a humiliating slapdown to a grubby company…. This press release uses same distortion Viagogo has applied to everything it does – proves they don’t give a damn…#toutsout”
In its announcement issued yesterday (Tuesday), Viagogo 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.”