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StubHub launches in UK

By | Published on Monday 19 March 2012


Good news for producers of Channel 4 documentaries, eBay’s secondary ticketing service StubHub has launched in the UK, so that’s a whole extra company to expose. Though Ticketmaster haters everywhere would like you to investigate its ticket resale website Get Me In first.

Yes, following reports last September that the US-based ticket resale website was planning a UK launch, eBay-owned StubHub went live last week, just as the whole online ticket touting thing has become a bit controversial again, following Channel 4’s ‘Dispatches’ programme last month which showed how some big players in the market were buying up tickets themselves, or working with promoters to put tickets straight onto the secondary market, rather than just providing a platform for fans to sell tickets to other fans. The exposé has reignited the debate in UK political circles as to whether online touting should be regulated.

But StubHub – whose original founder Eric Baker went onto launch Viagogo, one of the subjects of the aforementioned ‘Dispatches’ – insists that it’s not a dodgy evil set up that exists to screw over music fans for profit. Oh no.

The company’s GM International Brigitte Ricou-Bellan told The Huffington Post: “We have a very different proposition which does not include buying and selling tickets on our own behalf, nor benefiting from direct allocations from promoters and venues. Now, excuse me, that’s Gary Barlow on the phone, he’s got four thousand Take That tickets for us to flog”. Well, she said some of that.

The Labour MP who has been campaigning the most against unregulated ticketing touting, Sharon Hodgson, noted that Viagogo also denied being directly involved in the buying and selling of tickets prior to the Channel 4 exposé, adding that, despite StubHub’s assurances it won’t be doing that, she still wanted the government to investigate the sector at large.

Hodgson: “StubHub say they won’t be buying and selling tickets themselves – but Viagogo were saying exactly the same thing until they were exposed. The government needs to look seriously at how we can rebalance the scales in favour of the event-going public instead of the small number of people who are creaming off big profits”.

As previously reported, the government last week said that the Office Of Fair Trading was reviewing the secondary ticketing market anew, and that they would consider some sort of action if that review showed “market failure”.

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