Viagogo has denied it is still failing to comply with UK consumer protection laws after being threatened with contempt of court action by the competition regulator.
Yesterday (Thursday), the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it will move forward with legal action against the secondary ticketing site following several warnings that it had not done enough to overhaul the way it presents information on its website to come into compliance with UK consumer protection law following a court order issued in November 2018.
A Viagogo spokesperson told TheTicketingBusiness.com that they were “surprised” by the announcement and claim that they only heard the news through the watchdog’s press release.
The CMA said that while improvements have been made, Viagogo’s website still uses misleading ticket availability messages and its warnings that tickets with resale restrictions may not guarantee entry to an event do not meet the requirements of the court order.
In addition, the CMA claims that some seat numbers are not being displayed on the website as required and, in some cases, incomplete addresses of businesses selling tickets are being displayed to consumers.
The Viagogo spokesperson continued: “We have recently completed a third party review which has given us approval that we are reaching compliance with the requirements.
“It is important to note that no contempt of court has actually been filed against us at this time, and per the protocol of the order we have until the 18th July to respond to the CMA’s concerns.”
In November 2017, the CMA announced enforcement action against four major secondary ticketing websites – Viagogo, GetMeIn, Seatwave and StubHub. While three of the companies complied, Viagogo missed the deadline and was threatened with court, fines and prison time for its executives.
A court order against Viagogo was issued last year, but while the operator said it would comply, the CMA has made a series of complaints about a lack of progress. In March 2019, the CMA announced it was preparing to take legal action for contempt of court, with Viagogo responding by committing to make further improvements.
The CMA said it has now completed further checks and considered the findings of an independent review of Viagogo’s compliance with the order.
Viagogo concluded: “We will continue to work closely with the CMA, as we have been for the past year, to ensure we are offering the best possible consumer experience and protections in the UK.”