FEAT hopes Digital Services Act will rein in search engines concerning unsafe resale

Featured Image: FEAT

The Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT)’s discussions at its recent annual general meeting focused on the role of online search advertising in supporting predatory ticket resales.

According to FEAT, it is estimated that search engine Google is responsible for driving two-thirds of traffic to resale platform, Viagogo. The organisation referenced an article from the Guardian newspaper in 2019, which reported that the number of Viagogo customers fell after Google removed some of its ads. 

The Digital Services Act was introduced by the European Union (EU) last year, and required large search engines to clamp down on illegal product listings. This included working with risk-affected parties to carry out assessments of ‘systemic risks’ relating to illegal content. 

“FEAT members agreed that by failing to properly consider the continued prevalence of illegal ticket resale advertising, large search engines may already be in breach of their new responsibilities,” the group said.

Additionally, FEAT is aiming to adjust the ticket T&Cs to enable event organisers to de-list resale ticket listings efficiently through the Digital Services Act’s notice and action mechanisms, once the regulation is more widely implemented in the New Year. 

FEAT also worked on the next phase of its consumer awareness campaign ‘Make Tickets Fair!’. The campaign collaborates with live event professionals to make sure announcements from artists, festivals and venues help fans to purchase tickets safely. 

“With new Europe-wide regulations coming into effect for predatory resale platforms in the New Year, we united at a critical moment,” said FEAT founding director, and founder and chief executive of Doctor Music, Neo Sala. 

“During the meeting we agreed exciting plans to use the DSA to get illegal ticket resale listings taken down, as well as ramp up the ‘Make Tickets Fair!’ campaign to help educate music fans on safe ticketing.”