Ticket Exchange Sites Criticised By MPs, But Escape Regulation

A committee of MPs has criticised ticket resale websites including Seatwave and Viagogo for collaborating with sophisticated, organised ticket touting operations. Published Thursday morning, the House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee‘s report examines the so-called “secondary tickets” market. Though ticket touting is not a new phenomenon, “the growth of the internet has transformed and expanded it”, the report says, pointing to a new generation of “bedroom touts” and to organised gangs, both of whom can now snap up tickets and immediately sell them at a premium through sites like eBay.

The committee criticised London-based Seatwave and Viagogo for advertising “futures tickets” for the 2008 rugby Six Nations championship back in June, though they had not yet even been printed (they’re online for up to £495 each). And it claimed eBay (NSDQ: EBAY) refused to open its books to have the extent of the problem scrutinised. Seatwave CEO Joe Cohen told paidContent:UK: “All the hearsay about futures selling and criminal gangs are a red herring to move the argument away from this core question … whether fans should have the right to sell on their ticket if they find they can