Viagogo fail to appear at ticket abuse hearing

Viagogo fail to appear at ticket abuse hearing

Viagogo has no-showed today's select committee hearing on ticket abuse. 

The controversial Switzerland-headquartered secondary ticketing firm had been called to give evidence at this morning's hearing in the House Of Commons, but did not send representation.

The Culture, Media And Sport Committee is picking up on some of the issues considered at the previous meeting last November, which featured representatives from StubHub and Ticketmaster, and will consider the government's response to the independent report on secondary ticketing by Professor Michael Waterson.

"It is of considerable disappointment to us that Viagogo have decided not to send a representative," said committee chairman Damian Collins. "Despite the fact that they have a substantial office in London they do not believe that they have adequate representation in the UK in order to assist the committee with its enquiries.

"Given that other companies that operate in the primary and secondary ticketing space like Live Nation [whose Ticketmaster subsidiary runs resale sites Seatwave and Get Me In] and [StubHub owner] eBay have given evidence to the committee, it is of considerable disappointment to us that Viagogo don't feel that they have any oral evidence that they can contribute."

Committee member Jon Nicolson MP added: "It's always a very sad sight - and we see this very rarely - that we have to empty chair somebody, because most public organisations, most private organisations, have enough respect for parliament that when they're asked to appear they turn up and they put their arguments. It says something about their lack of self respect and the shady nature of their operations that they feel they can't appear here and answer questions."

See Tickets boss Rob Wilmshurst was the first to give evidence to MPs, with other speakers including Ed Sheeran's manager Stuart Camp, Stuart Galbraith of promoter Kilimanjaro Live and Hamilton producer Cameron Macintosh, alongside Daily Record journalist Mark McGivern and Claire Turnham of the Victims Of Viagogo group. 

See Tickets has today announced it is entering the secondary ticketing market for the first time with thr Fan2Fan resale platform, which it says will provide a "legitimate, price-controlled and ethical system" for fans to resell tickets for major events. The premium for ticket-buyers will be capped at no more than 5% of the original price.

In December, the Competition And Markets Authority (CMA) launched an enforcement investigation into the four main secondary ticketing platforms - Viagogo, eBay-owned StubHub and Ticketmaster's Seatwave and Get Me In. The Secretary Of State has asked HM Revenue & Customs to look into potential under-reporting of income of these sites.

Earlier this month, it was announced that touts who use bots to bulk buy tickets for music and sporting events will face unlimited fines, in an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill, which will be discussed today in the House Of Lords. 

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