UK Music CEO Michael Dugher has called on Google to take action to protect users from rip-off ticket prices, as the regulator warned Viagogo could face contempt of court action.
The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) said the ticket resale website could face further legal action after it was accused of failing to comply with an order over its treatment of customers.
“News that the CMA is proceeding with legal action against Viagogo is welcome and a timely reminder that music fans should avoid getting tickets from this website which continues to rip off music fans,” said Dugher.
“Equally, it’s high time Google stopped putting Viagogo at the top of their search engine when customers are looking for tickets, when they could instead be directed towards legitimate, lower primary ticket sales.”
He added: “UK Music, the FanFair Alliance and cross-party MPs have long campaigned for action against exploitative secondary ticketing providers. We urge the courts to join us and say no to Viagogo.”
Damian Collins MP, chair of the DCMS Committee, said: “I welcome the decision by the Competition and Markets Authority to pursue further legal action against Viagogo. When we published our Live Music report in March, the DCMS Committee took the highly unusual step of issuing a warning to the public against using the site until it had complied fully with consumer law and we called for the CMA to act to bring Viagogo into line.
“The CMA clearly shared our concern and we look forward to a speedy resolution to end what has been a troubling and distressing time for music fans who’ve had bad experiences with the site.”
However, Viagogo hit back at the move by the CMA to proceed with contempt of court action.
“We were surprised at the announcement from the CMA today, which we learnt of through their press release, and we deny the allegations that we are in breach of compliance with their regulations,” said the secondary ticketing company.
“We have recently completed a third party review which has given us approval that we are reaching compliance with the requirements.”
Viagogo must respond by July 18.
“We will continue to work closely with the CMA, as we have been for the past year, to ensure we are offering the best possible consumer experience and protections in the UK,” said the company.