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Australia’s Labor Party proposes country-wide 10% cap on ticket resale

By | Published on Friday 30 November 2018

Live Music

The main opposition party in Australia is proposing a new law that would extend restrictions on secondary ticketing already introduced in New South Wales to the whole country.

The Labor Party says that if it was in government it would introduce a new rule that says that tickets resold online can only be marked up by 10%, which would basically cover the administration of the resale. As part of that system, promoters would then be forbidden from cancelling resold tickets. This mirrors measures introduced at a state level in New South Wales.

The Labor Party’s proposals also include the customary bots ban, outlawing the use of special software to hoover up large numbers of tickets from primary sites. The party’s leader, Bill Shorten, said: “Big events should not be out of reach of everyday Aussie fans. I know how frustrating it is for people to wake up early, log on to a computer and find they’ve missed out on tickets before they can even enter their details”.

“I don’t want ordinary Australians to have to compete with sophisticated computers set up to gouge the system”, he added. “I want families to have real chance of getting tickets to sports games and events they love. Australians love their sport and these changes will mean fans get a fair go on accessing tickets to the big events”.

As elsewhere, while politicians in Australia are critical about the secondary ticketing market in general, they are most scathing about big bad Viagogo, which is currently being sued by the country’s Competition & Consumer Commission. According to news.com.au, the Labor Party says that their proposals would “cut the business model” of companies like Viagogo which “often leave consumers stranded with useless tickets” even after paying a premium price to access said tickets.

The Party added that ticket touting “is a growing scourge. Instead of sales going to our footy clubs and local businesses, artists and the music industry, fraudsters are building profit models and forcing consumers to pay exorbitant prices for tickets, or missing out completely”.

The Labor Party’s unveiling of its proposals on secondary ticketing followed the call by Australian band Gang Of Youths earlier this week for artists and music fans to come forward with reports on how they had been negatively impacted by Viagogo. The band said that they intended “to give this documentation to the Opposition Party to form part of their campaign pledge to have this site closed down”.

Elsewhere in Viagogo news, back here in the UK anti-ticket-touting campaign FanFair has been reviewing in more detail the injunction secured against the rogue resale site by the Competition & Markets Authority earlier this week. That injunction ordered Viagogo to comply with the CMA’s various demands to bring its operations in line with UK consumer rights law. Responding, the resale site said “we are pleased that we have been able to work closely with the CMA to come to an agreement”.

However, in its commentary FanFair notes how “non-compliance [with the injunction] might result in fines, seizure of assets or for Viagogo’s directors to be imprisoned”, adding that “it is certainly not an ‘agreement’, as Viagogo suggested in a press release published on Tuesday morning”.

In addition to the measures already outlined by the CMA in its announcement earlier in the week, FanFair also notes demands in the injunction regarding Viagogo’s complaints and refund procedures, including “a review of historic unpaid claims under its guarantee”.

You can read the full injunction here and FanFair’s commentary here.



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