Secondary ticketing websites

The CMA is investigating suspected breaches of consumer protection law in the online secondary tickets market.



Date Action
19 December 2016 Enforcement case launched following compliance review
14 June 2016 Compliance review commences
5 March 2015 Undertakings given to the CMA and investigation closed
26 July 2012 Case opened

Update on secondary ticketing investigation and unfair terms work

28 November 2017: The CMA has announced that it will take enforcement action against secondary ticketing websites suspected of breaking consumer protection law. The CMA is raising its concerns with a number of these websites and will be requiring them to take action where necessary. It has also broadened the scope of its original investigation to include a number of additional issues, prompted by new information gathered in the course of its work.

In addition, the CMA plans to engage with event organisers to help them to avoid being challenged for using unfair terms to restrict the resale of their tickets. The CMA has set out its current views on steps that event organisers should take. It plans to listen to any views that interested stakeholders have about these proposed steps in the coming weeks before finalising this position – developing it further, if necessary.

Government response to Professor Waterson’s independent review of secondary tickets

14 March 2017: The government’s response to Professor Waterson’s independent review of the secondary tickets sector given on 13 March has highlighted the CMA’s contribution to addressing various issues identified in Professor Waterson’s report. The CMA has today published an update on this work which can be found in the document below.

Launch of enforcement investigation

19 December 2016: The CMA has opened an enforcement investigation into suspected breaches of consumer protection law in the online secondary tickets market. This follows concerns identified by the CMA during its compliance review that people are not getting the full range of information required by consumer protection law when buying tickets put up for resale.

We’ll consider whether, in our view, both the businesses selling tickets and the secondary ticketing platforms advertising them are failing to provide the full range of information in breach of the law and, if so, take enforcement action.

We’ll specifically look at whether information is provided on:

  • who the seller is
  • any connections the seller may have with the platform or event organisers
  • whether there are any restrictions on the use of resold tickets which could result in the person being denied access to the event
  • where a seat is located in the venue

The CMA also carried out an initial review of the 4 main secondary ticketing websites to ensure they were complying with undertakings previously given to improve the information provided about tickets advertised on their sites. This work concluded that one website was not fully complying with its undertaking and we are actively pursuing this to ensure it is meeting its obligations in full. All other websites have changed their practices in line with their undertakings.

Update on secondary tickets compliance review

12 September 2016: On 14 June 2016, the CMA launched a compliance review focusing on the 4 main secondary ticket platforms.

The CMA has gathered and is continuing to review information from secondary ticket platforms, venues, sports bodies, ticket resellers, representatives of the music industry and consumers, and other interested parties. It’s also carrying out its own review of the 4 main platforms’ websites. It will now complete its analysis and consider what, if any, further steps might be required by the CMA or other enforcement partners.

The CMA plans to provide a further update on this work by the end of the calendar year.

The review is considering the platforms’ compliance with: the undertakings provided to the CMA following its earlier investigation, as well as with other legislative provisions, including more recent legal requirements under the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 and the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

Compliance review commences

14 June 2016: In March 2015, the CMA announced that 4 UK secondary ticket platforms – GET ME IN!, Seatwave, StubHub and viagogo – had provided undertakings to build upon their existing practices and give improved information to buyers about the tickets listed on their sites.

The CMA is now carrying out a review to assess whether the 4 secondary ticket platforms are providing adequate information to consumers, in accordance with their undertakings and their legal obligations. The CMA is asking anyone with relevant information about the 4 secondary ticket platforms and their practices to send it to us.

The CMA has not taken any decisions about whether there have been any breaches of consumer protection legislation or what it might do once this review is completed.

Details on the review and how to respond can be found in the document below.

Investigation closed

In July 2012, the Office of Fair Trading launched an investigation into the secondary ticketing market. This was to help make sure consumers had all the information they needed before buying tickets from secondary ticket websites.

The undertakings given to the CMA will now provide buyers with better information on secondary ticket websites and help them to understand what they are getting before they buy.

Published 5 March 2015
Last updated 28 November 2017 + show all updates
  1. Update on secondary ticketing investigation and unfair terms work published.
  2. Update added.
  3. Enforcement investigation launched.
  4. Update added.
  5. Update on compliance review published.
  6. Open letters added.
  7. First published.