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Viagogo facing contempt of court proceedings following warnings from watchdog

The Competition and Markets Authority said the action followed repeated warnings over Viagogo’s lack of compliance with consumer protection law.

Screengrab from the home page of Viagogo (PA)
Screengrab from the home page of Viagogo (PA)

The competition watchdog is to go ahead with legal proceedings against ticket re-seller Viagogo following repeated warnings over its compliance with consumer protection law.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the contempt of court action followed several warnings that the company had not done enough to overhaul the way it presents information on its website to comply with the law.

The CMA launched court action against Viagogo in August, which resulted in the court order.

In November, the CMA secured a court order that obliged Viagogo to implement the necessary changes, in full, by January 17.

The watchdog has raised concerns since then that the website was still not compliant with certain aspects of the order, and in March 2019 announced that it was preparing to take legal action for contempt of court.

Viagogo responded by committing to make further improvements to its website.

The CMA said that, although Viagogo had made “many positive changes”, these were not enough to comply fully with the court order.

CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said: “It is simply not good enough that Viagogo is continuing to drag its heels by not complying in full with this important court order.

“We secured the order on behalf of people who use these resale websites and deserve to know the facts before parting with their hard-earned money.

“After the CMA repeatedly raised concerns with Viagogo, and also took the time needed to give proper consideration to the findings of an independent review of Viagogo’s compliance, we are very concerned that it still hasn’t done what it was ordered to do.

“We are now taking the next step in legal action to ask a court to find Viagogo in contempt.”

Claire Turnham, awarded an MBE for obtaining close to £1 million of refunds from the site through her Victim Of Viagogo group, said: “Victim Of Viagogo supports the CMA in bringing these proceedings. We are still seeing hundreds of fans misled and mis-sold on a weekly basis.

“Whilst we are aware some changes have been made, the evidence proves effective court action is urgently needed to protect the public.”

Adam Webb, campaign manager at FanFair Alliance, said: “Our campaign has consistently raised serious concerns that Viagogo remains short of full compliance with UK consumer law, and trust that any court action will take place without delay.

“This company can be allowed no more excuses to delay or drag its heels.”

PA

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