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Ticketmaster welcomes Commons blocking of new secondary ticketing rules

By | Published on Wednesday 14 January 2015


So, as expected, on Monday the House Of Commons booted out proposed secondary ticketing regulations, which the House Of Lords had tried to sneak onto the statute book via the Consumer Rights Bill.

As previously reported, the Lords added the new rules for online ticket touting – basically forcing sellers to reveal their identity and more info about the tickets they are selling – last November based on recommendations from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse. Last weekend 85 key people from across the music, sport and theatre sectors backed those regulations.

But the Government has never been in favour of the proposals and therefore used its majority in the Commons to have the Lords’ amendments removed. And it now seems unlikely that the final version of the new consumer rights law will have the ticket touting lines. That’s a development unsurprisingly welcomed by the secondary ticketing sector, which argues that the new rules would force touts off the established online marketplaces for ticket reselling onto sites outside the jurisdiction of the UK courts, where fraud is much more likely.

Christoph Homann, MD of the resale division of Live Nation’s Ticketmaster, said: “We are delighted that the government has maintained its position to support the rights of consumers by voting against a misguided and unworkable proposal. We have consumer protection law, competition law and criminal law already safeguarding consumers in the UK and there is no evidence to support extra regulation for the secondary ticketing market would be effective. Resale is here to stay, as consumers want more choice and greater flexibility”.

He went on: “We believe it is important that the industry continues to ensure that consumers are protected, have clear information about the purchases they are making and that fraud is prevented. We are in active dialogue with the Government about how the industry can do yet more to improve its high standards even further”.

So there you go. Though there remains strong support in various quarters for further regulation of the secondary ticketing sites, and the campaign for such laws is likely to continue, while anti-touting promoters also investigate technology solutions to make the reselling of tickets harder.