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BBC: Unlimited fines for bulk buying ticket touts

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Chief Bakes

Unlimited fines for bulk buying ticket touts

  • 11 March 2017
  • From the section UK
Ed SheeranImage copyright Getty Images

Online touts who bulk buy tickets and sell them for inflated prices will face unlimited fines under government plans.

An amendment to the Digital Economy Bill means it will be illegal to use "bots" to bypass limits on the maximum amount of tickets that can be bought.

Tickets purchased by bots can appear on secondary websites at prices many times greater than their face value.

A Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCSM) spokesman said the profiteering was "simply not fair".

High profile artists such as Adele and Ed Sheeran have previously criticised the touts and asked their fans not to buy tickets from secondary sites.

As part of the touting crackdown, ministers will accept in full the recommendations of a review by Professor Michael Waterson.

In the report, he suggested ticket sellers should have tougher anti-bot measures in place with a facility to report bot attacks, stronger enforcement of existing consumer rights laws, and the threat of further action if the industry does not act against rogue ticket traders.

Ed Sheeran angry after his tour tickets end up on secondary sites

The government said it wants the big companies in the secondary ticket market to do more to identify ticket touts and differentiate them from individual fans who want to sell tickets for events they can no longer go to.

'Rip-off prices'

If the companies do not make progress, ministers will seek further action to ensure consumer law is being followed.

The government has been under pressure by a number of celebrities to tackle the problem of ticket touting.

You Me At Six singer Josh Franchesci gave evidence to the committee last year calling for bots to be made illegal saying the fans were the "main losers".

Last year, the use of this technology was made a criminal offence in New York after a report found one bot had bought 1,000 tickets in one minute for a U2 concert at Madison Square Garden.

Making it fair

Minister of State for Digital and Culture, Matt Hancock, said: "It's unacceptable that touts are misusing technology to bypass security measures and buy up vast numbers of tickets before real fans get the chance, only to sell them on at rip-off prices.

"It's a growing problem that affects too many people.

In December, an enforcement investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority was launched into any suspected breach by this market.

Mr Hancock added: This profiteering is simply not fair, so we are acting to put fans first and improve the chances of seeing our favourite musicians and sports stars at a reasonable price.

"Ticket sellers need to do more, by improving transparency and ensuring that they are acting in the best interests of consumers and help the market work for everyone."

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bensonby

I must say, I've never really understood this. Isn't it a basic premise of our economic system that people buy what is in demand and sell at a profit? How is this any different? Surely, the fact that people buy them at vastly inflated prices in the secondary market means that tickets are clearly under-priced well below their market value?

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Traffic Rat
I must say, I've never really understood this. Isn't it a basic premise of our economic system that people buy what is in demand and sell at a profit? How is this any different? Surely, the fact that people buy them at vastly inflated prices in the secondary market means that tickets are clearly under-priced well below their market value?


Err No. Ive tried many times to buy tickets at time of release to buy decent tickets using multiple laptops at the same time and only ever got upper tier type shown as available, whereas the secondary selling sites within minutes have all the front row, standing area tickets on sale at almost the same time as double or more prices.

1 of 2 things - Bots and manipulation or collusion between promoter, venues and resellers.

Personally I go for collusion.

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David

Bit odd really. I understand the concern and the grip touts have, but you either buy the tickets or not.

But unlimited fines? Seems an odd thing when things like speeding are fixed where - for instance - for a premier footballer it's not even loose change.

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Milankovitch

What is so odd about? People using bots to buy up hundreds of tickets can make huge sums of money selling those tickets on, I'm not at all surprised at it being a level 5 fine given the sums of money involved. I don't think making every offence have an unlimited fine just because the maximum is chump change to some people is a particularly good argument, we'd be as well doing away with the entire system of statutory limits otherwise.

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obsidian_eclipse

You'd think that the venues would use some sort of bot/human recognition systems to stop this happening. There are also tickets for some places which require individuals to be named on tickets and with limited capabilities for transferral. Unless certain people are in collusion as suggested.

Sent from my D2303 using Tapatalk

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