Earlier this year we reported on the new rules relating to sales of tickets via online secondary ticketing platforms (see here for details).

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 has since come into force, with the secondary ticketing provisions coming into force on 27 May 2015. As was explained in the earlier blog post, the provisions included a duty on the part of the Government to review and to publish a report within 12 months of the new rules coming into force.

Launched on 13 October 2015 and independently chaired by Professor Michael Waterson – the Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick – this review is a consultative and evidence based review on secondary ticketing, namely the re-sale of tickets not by the organiser directly or through a ticket agency but through other channels via third parties.

As part of this review The Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) together with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have announced a call for evidence.

This review will examine the effectiveness of consumer protection measures in the marketplace and how well the consumer is being protected by existing legislation, voluntary measures or actions of interested parties like credit card issuers. In particular, key issues for consideration include:

  • the scope for profiteering or fraud through selling invalid tickets – sometimes consumers buy in the belief that they are purchasing primary tickets from official ticket agencies;
  • an online and offline comparison of invalid tickets – including offers of guarantees provided by online resale platforms to consumers of a genuine ticket or refund, versus purchases made on the street;
  • use of computer programmes such as internet bots, which automatically purchase a certain number of tickets as soon as they become available in the market- potentially depriving the public from purchasing tickets directly; and
  • the reasonableness of primary ticket sale conditions which seek to prevent ticket re-sale or transfer.

A broad spectrum of views are sought; from event organisers, primary ticket sellers, enforcement authorities and the online re-sale industry, and consumers as both ticket sellers and purchasers.

Please find the written statement here and the call for evidence on the gov.uk website here. Comments must be submitted by 20 November 2015 and a report of findings will be published by 26 May 2016.