Oct 24, 2023 1 min read

Anti-touting campaign hopes new EU rules will help in the battle against for-profit ticket resale

The pan-European anti-ticket-touting campaign FEAT has set out its priorities for the year ahead, hoping to capitalise on the new EU Digital Services Act

Anti-touting campaign hopes new EU rules will help in the battle against for-profit ticket resale

The pan-European campaign against for-profit ticket touting, FEAT, has confirmed its priorities for the year ahead, seeking to capitalise on the European Union’s new Digital Services Act.

Anti-touting campaigners hope that the new responsibilities placed on major digital platforms by the DSA will help in the battle against ticket touting. Affected platforms have to the start of next year to comply with the new rules.

One hope in the touting domain is that the Digital Services Act will restrict the use of search engine advertising by secondary ticketing platforms.

This has long been a concern, because platforms like Viagogo can buy their way to the top of search results, meaning that when consumers search for tickets for any one artist's shows on Google, the link to touted tickets comes above the link to the official seller of tickets.

Even if the search engine puts a 'sponsored' label above the top link and the resale site states that it is a "secondary marketplace for tickets" on its home page, plenty of consumers will still assume that whichever link comes top is a legit place to buy tickets. When, in fact, they may end up paying more for tickets that the promoter of the show could technically cancel.

Following an Annual General Meeting of those involved in FEAT last week, the campaign noted in a statement yesterday that "the EU's Digital Services Act brought in tough new measures requiring large search engines to clamp down on illegal product listings. These include working with risk-affected parties to carry out assessments of 'systemic risks' relating to illegal content".

"FEAT members agreed", the statement continued, "that by failing to properly consider the continued prevalence of illegal ticket resale advertising, large search engines may already be in breach of their new responsibilities".

Other FEAT priorities for the year ahead include looking into adjusting ticket terms and conditions "to enable event organisers to de-list resale ticket listings more aggressively via the Digital Services Act's notice and action mechanisms once the regulation comes into force more widely in the new year".

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