The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has warned StubHub that it could be breaking UK consumer law due to issues with the information provided on its website.
As part of regular monitoring, the CMA said it is concerned that the firm is not complying with commitments it made to clean up its site following a consumer law investigation. New issues have also been identified, which the CMA has told StubHub to resolve.
The watchdog said it is concerned that the firm is failing to adequately warn people that tickets may not get them into an event, that they are using misleading messages about ticket availability, as well as targeting UK consumers with tickets for events listed on overseas versions of their websites, which may not comply with UK law.
It also added that StubHub is failing to ensure people know exactly where they will sit in a venue and is failing to take sufficient steps to ensure that the full addresses of business sellers are displayed.
Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: “StubHub had previously committed to make important changes to the information on its site, so anyone buying a ticket would know what they were getting before parting with their money. It’s therefore unacceptable that we have now found these concerns.
“We have demanded swift action to resolve these problems and are pleased that StubHub has said it will make changes in response. We will closely monitor the firm’s efforts and, if it does not quickly implement changes that satisfy us, we will take further action – potentially through the courts.
“As we continue to examine these consumer cases, it is now imperative that the CMA is given stronger powers to rule on whether a company has broken the law and impose fines if needed. We will continue to work with the Government on the most effective way to achieve this.”
StubHub has already told the CMA that it will make changes to its website, with the watchdog stating it would consider taking court action if the changes do not go far enough to address its concerns.
Adam Webb, campaign manager, FanFair Alliance said: “This is a welcome announcement from the CMA, which again highlights continuing dysfunctions in the secondary ticketing market.
“StubHub have had years to comply with UK consumer law, they were forced to sign legal undertakings in April 2018, and yet they still fall short of expected standards. If StubHub and other secondary ticketing platforms continue to mislead UK audiences, we would urge the CMA to take decisive action through the courts.
“Today’s developments should also provide yet more impetus for regulators to thoroughly investigate the proposed merger between viagogo and StubHub.”