FanFair Alliance welcomes CMA raids on secondary sites

FanFair Alliance welcomes CMA raids on secondary sites

The FanFair Alliance is to urge the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee to revisit the issue of ticket abuse after the offices of secondary ticketing sites Viagogo and StubHub were reportedly raided by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA).

The Guardian reported that the CMA took the action in August after the companies failed to hand over details of their ties with prominent ticket touts. The move was part of the CMA's ongoing enforcement investigation, launched last December, into the sector. Ticketmaster's Get Me In! and Seatwave resale platforms are said to have voluntarily submitted details about their top sellers. 

"These reported actions by the CMA are a welcome development," said a statement by FanFair Alliance.

Elsewhere, CBC Canada ran extensive coverage on the close partnership between Quebec-based ticket tout Julien Lavallee and StubHub from information leaked in the Paradise PapersLavallee's company, I Want Tickets, was registered in the Isle Of Man, via offshore legal service provider Appleby, allegedly to avoid paying tax.   

"The new revelations from the Paradise Papers highlight a jaw-dropping scale of complicity between large-scale sellers and one of the platforms, with Canadian-based tout, Julien Lavallee, turning over millions of dollars each year and then using an offshore firm to avoid tax. Lavallee’s company, I Want Tickets, has harvested and resold thousands of tickets for UK events, and was active on StubHub as recently as August 2017.  

"We believe such practices are not isolated to a single platform. Nor that Lavallee is a one-off. FanFair has identified a range of dubious businesses, including offshore holding companies, reselling significant volumes of tickets to a variety of UK events. 

"What we now need is root-and-branch reform. As well as regulatory action, we urge the Culture Media & Sport Select Committee to revisit the issue of ticket abuse and for the Government to enforce legislation in a meaningful way. The UK is celebrated for its live music scene, and we should have the best and most transparent system of ticket resale - not a market polluted by these shabby and disgraceful practices."

In April 2017, Government passed new legislation to criminalise the mass online harvesting of tickets by touts, as well as new measures to bolster existing UK consumer law and provide enforcement resources for National Trading Standards.

A recent consumer survey, commissioned by the FanFair Alliance, found that 80% of the British public consider secondary ticketing to be a "rip-off".

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