Viagogo faces contempt of court action

Viagogo faces contempt of court action

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is to proceeding with contempt of court action against Viagogo following concerns it has failed to comply fully with a court order.

The move follows several warnings from the CMA that the secondary ticketing site had not done enough to overhaul the way it presents information on its website to comply with UK consumer protection law.

The watchdog noted that Viagogo had made several positive changes, including paying more than £400,000 in refunds to people whose claims it had wrongly rejected, but had not gone far enough to comply.  

It is simply not good enough that Viagogo is continuing to drag its heels by not complying in full with this important court order

Andrea Coscelli

Competition And Markets Authority

Andrea Coscelli, CMA CEO, said: “It is simply not good enough that Viagogo is continuing to drag its heels by not complying in full with this important court order.

“We secured the order on behalf of people who use these resale websites and deserve to know the facts before parting with their hard-earned money.

“After the CMA repeatedly raised concerns with Viagogo, and also took the time needed to give proper consideration to the findings of an independent review of Viagogo’s compliance, we are very concerned that it still hasn’t done what it was ordered to do. We are now taking the next step in legal action to ask a court to find Viagogo in contempt.”

Specifically, the CMA is still of the view that:

*The warning Viagogo gives to people that tickets with resale restrictions may not get them in to an event does not meet the requirements of the order

*Viagogo is still using some misleading ticket availability messages

*Some seat numbers are not being displayed on the website as required

*In some cases, incomplete addresses of businesses selling tickets are being displayed to consumers.

FanFair Alliance campaign manager Adam Webb said: "FanFair Alliance fully supports the CMA's decision in taking further action against Viagogo and asking a court to find them in contempt.

"Our campaign has consistently raised serious concerns that Viagogo remains short of full compliance with UK consumer law, and trust that any court action will take place without delay. The company can be allowed no more excuses to delay or drag its heels."

The CMA is also awaiting the judge's decision on a separate issue relating to Viagogo regaring to a particular part of the order dealing with the use of ‘hover text’ to display the face value of tickets and the deadlines for people to claim for refunds. A hearing took place on June 18.

The watchdog launched court action against the Swiss-headquartered company last August over allegations it was breaking consumer protection law. 

As part of the order, Viagogo was required to clearly and prominently disclose information including seat location, restrictions on use, face value price and whether the seller is a business or connected to the event organiser or Viagogo.

Viagogo argued it had made the necessary changes, but the CMA has now released a statement saying the platform's actions have not gone far enough.

Viagogo boss Cris Miller recently broke his silence to apologise to MPs over the company's failures to appear before the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Committee.

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