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Viagogo faces criminal case over order ‘breaches’

15 February 2019

VIAGOGO COULD face “severe” criminal charges over allegedly breaching the court order secured against it by the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) last year.

The order required Viagogo to overhaul its business model and comply with a range of consumer protection legislation by 18 January.

However, the company did not do this, as CMA executive director of enforcement Michael Grenfell told the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse (APPG), at a meeting, held in Parliament on 29 January.

“We are extremely concerned about it and will take action as quickly as is possible – this is extremely serious and we are building our case,” he told MPs and others present.

He said he expected it to take around two weeks to gather evidence of the contoversial resale site’s breaches and that it would be a criminal matter, with directors facing fines or even imprisonment.

A CMA spokesperson reinforced Grenfell’s view, saying, “If they do not make the necessary changes, we will go back to court to force them to do so. Severe penalties are available if they are found to be in contempt of court.”

Anti-touting campaigner Adam Webb of FanFair Alliance tells LIVE UK that he believes legal action is now the only option.

“Viagogo passed a strict deadline to comply with a court order and overhaul their business,” he says. “True to form, we have seen little evidence of change.

“In fact, our concerns with how this website operates have only intensified and it is now vital that the CMA act quickly and decisively to enforce the law. Viagogo has run out of road.”

Meanwhile, Viagogo has issued a statement saying the company believes it is compliant with the CMA’s court order.

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