Industry News

Search engines urged to rethink reselling stance

Internet search engines have been criticised for helping to facilitate unauthorised ticket resales by Sam Shemtob, director of the Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT).

Speaking at the Primavera Pro music conference in Barcelona, Shemtob slammed search engines for hosting advertisements from unauthorised resellers.

“Across Europe, countries including Belgium, France, Ireland and others have outlawed unauthorised ticket resale,” Shemtob said. “The European Court of Justice meanwhile has ruled that event tickets are a contract for services, subject to terms and conditions of the event promoter; and the incoming Digital Services Act promises to tighten consumer protections in e-commerce further.

“In this environment of strengthening legislation, search engines ought to start asking what kind of companies they are.

“Do they want to enable the activities of ticket scalpers, and support the anti-consumer and anti-artist practices of unauthorised resale platforms? Or do they want to stand up for their users and guide them toward legitimate tickets for the events they want to attend? We hope companies like Google will choose the latter option.”

It was pointed out during Shemtob’s session alongside other live music industry experts that Google’s brief ban on advertising from Viagogo in 2019, global traffic to the website fell by two-thirds.

In April, Google failed in an appeal against an order prohibiting the purchase of ads promoting tickets sold by unauthorised resellers in France.

Image: Liam Shaw on Unsplash