Government committee to hold evidence session into ticket abuse

Government committee to hold evidence session into ticket abuse

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee is holding a one-off evidence session into ticket touts and the issue of using "bots" - robotic software - to harvest tickets from online sites.

The meeting will take place in the House of Commons on Tuesday (November 15) and will be available online at www.parliamentlive.tv. Speakers due to give evidence include Ticketmaster chairman Chris Edmonds, Wildlife Entertainment's Ian McAndrew, who co-founded campaign group FanFair Alliance, Annabella Coldrick of the Music Managers Forum, Waterson Review author Michael Waterson and Josh Franceschi of You Me At Six, along with representatives from StubHub, its parent company eBay and the Society Of Ticket Retailers.

During the public bill committee stage of the Digital Economy Bill, an amendment was tabled with the intention of making it an offence to use ‘digital purchasing software’ to purchase an excessive number of tickets. The amendment was withdrawn at that stage but another could be re-tabled during the Bill’s passage through Parliament. 

The Minister has committed to arranging a roundtable on this issue before Christmas and to publish the government’s response to the Waterson Review into consumer protection measures concerning online secondary ticketing facilities.   

The Committee’s evidence session will consider the problems caused by digital ticket purchasing software, also known as bots, and the reselling of tickets to major events harvested by touts, with a range of relevant interested parties. 

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