UK Music chief hits out at Google over Viagogo

UK Music chief hits out at Google over Viagogo

UK Music chief Michael Dugher has attacked Google for "shirking its responsibilities" over controversial secondary ticketing site Viagogo.

Earlier this week, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) referred Viagogo to National Trading Standards for its failure to make changes to "misleading" pricing information on its website. The ASA has ruled that the Swiss-headquartered platform had continued to mislead consumers by not being upfront and clear about additional booking fees and delivery charges added at the end of the booking process.

Google vowed to provide a "better and safer" platform for users after its new global transparency regulations on ticket resellers came into force, but Dugher warned that more needed to be done.

"We welcome the investigation by National Trading Standards," said Dugher (pictured). “But we also need much tougher action from Google which continues to sit on its hands over this national scandal.

“In the same way Google’s YouTube rip off artists and creators, Google is complicit in taking music fans for a ride because they put Viagogo at the top of internet searches - not the official ticketing sites. That has to stop.

“Thanks to calls from industry campaigners like the FanFair Alliance and UK Music, everyone is aware of the problem. What we need now is action. Google needs to stop shirking its responsibilities and kick secondary sites that break new rules on transparency into touch.”

Dugher’s comments came after digital minister Margot James urged fans to steer clear of Viagogo if they had to use a secondary ticketing site. She told BBC Radio 5 Live: “Don’t choose Viagogo – they are the worst.”

James previously spoke out against Viagogo during a ticket touting debate in parliament last month.

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