Online Ticket Resellers Come Under Commons Scrutiny

No sooner has the nascent online secondary ticket sales market got going, it faces the possibility of government regulation, The Times warns. Sites like well-funded, Index-backed Viagogo and Mangrove/Atlast-backed Seatwave sprang up last year, offering a UK alternative to US concert ticket resale site StubHub, where customers who have recently bought tickets for music, sports and other events can sell them on. But the growing segment will next week come under the scrutiny of the House Of Commons media, culture and sport select committee, which will call for sites to do more to outlaw fake ticket sales and exorbitant prices charges by sharks, the story says. There’s no mention of such activity on the committee’s calendar, though it’s said the industry will be asked to police itself.

At the issue’s core – does a ticket represent mere service access or is it a tradeable purchase? Viagogo CEO Eric Baker: “We believe tickets are property; people own it, just like they own a car or a book.” Concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith: “I am against the idea that a ticket is a commodity.” A consortium of some 400 musicians pushed the issue high up the agenda in December when it formed the Resale Rights Society to lobby for a cut of the price at which tickets sell in these secondary arena.