Competition & Markets Authority
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CMA to take further legal action against viagogo

The CMA is to move forward with legal proceedings for contempt of court against viagogo following concerns it has failed to comply fully with a court order.

It follows several warnings from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that the secondary ticketing site had not done enough to overhaul the way it presents information on its website to come into compliance with UK consumer protection law.

In particular, 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, for example displaying inaccurate claims about the number of tickets left on the site
  • 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

viagogo and the CMA have also been in court on a separate issue in relation 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 18 June and the CMA is now awaiting the judge’s decision.

In November 2018, the CMA secured a court order that obliged the secondary ticketing site to overhaul the way it operates its UK website and ensure that it complies with consumer protection law. The order required viagogo to implement the necessary changes, in full, by 17 January 2019.

Since then, the CMA has raised significant concerns that viagogo’s website was not compliant with certain aspects of the order, and in March 2019 announced it was preparing to take legal action for contempt of court. viagogo responded by committing to make further improvements to its website.

The CMA has now completed further checks and considered the findings of an independent review of viagogo’s compliance with the order. Many positive changes have been made, leading to important improvements to the information customers receive when considering whether to buy a ticket, and viagogo paying over £400,000 in refunds to people whose claims it had wrongly rejected.

However, these are not enough, in the CMA’s view, to comply fully with the court order. Therefore, the CMA has today notified viagogo that it will be asking a court to find it in contempt of court.

Andrea Coscelli, CMA Chief Executive Officer, 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.

Notes to editors

  1. Full information on the CMA’s work can be found on the case page
  2. The letter the CMA has today written to viagogo is a letter before action. Prior to issuing proceedings, and in an attempt to avoid litigation, it is usual to send the other party a letter before action explaining the proposed claim and notifying them of the intention to issue proceedings.
  3. For further information please contact the press office via press@cma.gov.uk or on 020 3738 6460

 

Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/competition-and-markets-authority

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cma-to-take-further-legal-action-against-viagogo

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