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5 March 2015, 05:00
Music lovers, sports fans and theatre goers using ticket resale sites are being promised access to better information so they know what they are buying.
It follows action from the Competition and Markets Authority, which has resulted in four of the largest UK secondary ticket platforms - Get Me In!, Seatwave, Stubhub and viagogo - agreeing to build on their existing practices and give improved information to buyers about the tickets listed on their sites.
They include information on restrictions on entry and view, whether seats are located together, any additional charges and what the ticket face value is.
There'll also now be a 60-second summary which offers an at-a-glance guide to buyers on what they can expect from businesses. It'll emphasise buyers' rights and the things they should check before making a purchase.
Nisha Arora, CMA Senior Director, said: "A well-functioning secondary ticket market benefits fans by helping them to get tickets for events they want to see and by helping them to when they can no longer make use of their tickets.
"As a result of the CMA's action, and the constructive response of the major secondary ticket platforms, buyers will now have more of the key information they need before buying.
"We want this rapidly evolving sector to continue to improve across the board so that fans can buy with more confidence. That is why we are also writing today to various businesses active in the sector to set out our expectations and why we are providing easy-to-use advice for buyers to help drive further improvements.
"We also advise buyers to check carefully before they buy and only use those platforms which give them the information they need. They should make good use of that information, so that they know what they are getting when they buy.
"Businesses that do not provide secondary ticket consumers with information they need to help them know what they are buying may find themselves subject to action under consumer protection law, including possible financial penalties from Trading Standards Services to drive future compliance."
During its investigation the CMA has liaised with the Advertising Standards Authority, which is also taking forward work in this sector, with the aim of further enhancing transparency for consumers.
Shahriar Coupal, Director of the Committees of Advertising Policy and Practice (Advertising Standards Authority), said: "Hiding or omitting information about charges that consumers have to pay is not only misleading it's simply unfair. In tandem with the CMA, we've been working closely with the secondary ticket sector to help make sure it's clear and upfront about costs so that consumers get a fair deal and businesses play by the same rules."