Ticketmaster criticises ‘media frenzy’ over ticket resales

Company argues against legislation to govern secondary sales of tickets

There has been public criticism in recent years about the prices charged for event tickets on websites that allow secondary sales.

There has been public criticism in recent years about the prices charged for event tickets on websites that allow secondary sales.

 

The problem of second-hand sales of concert and sporting tickets has been “vastly” sensationalised and has caused confusion among consumers, according to Ticketmaster.

The ticket sales giant has argued against possible legislation to govern the sale of tickets on the secondary market in a submission to the Government.

There has been public criticism in recent years about the prices charged for event tickets on websites that allow secondary sales.

Ticketmaster argues in its paper to the Department of Jobs and Department of Sport that “the media frenzy around ticket resale has only served to confuse the public and sensationalise the issue”.

Ticketmaster Ireland also says that its own data has shown that only 1 per cent of tickets it “sells on behalf of its clients are subsequently resold”, which it describes as a “vastly different story” to what is reported in the media.

It also says the reselling of tickets is “fundamentally about economics” and that tickets are often sold at “considerably less than the true market value”.

A submission from Stubhub, a website that allows secondary ticket selling, questioned if it is “appropriate, necessary and proportionate” for the State to “intervene in a competitive international secondary marketplace”.

“Could such intervention be justified if it applied to a secondary market for other consumer goods, including cars, houses, chattels and mementoes?” it asks, while also saying there is a “high degree of public support for the secondary ticket market, with strong support for the right to resell tickets freely”.

Legitimate sellers

Another secondary ticketing website, Viagogo, said it helped to tackle ticket fraud by ensuring that only legitimate sellers were allowed on its platform.

It also argues that preventing the resale of tickets would be “unfair” and would “undermine a consumer’s right to sell on their property”.

“If a consumer has purchased a ticket, it should be theirs to sell if they cannot use it, as with any other goods. We understand that the overwhelming majority of consumers agree with this view and do not agree that an event organiser should have the right to dictate what they do with a ticket.”

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock, who has published a Bill on the issue, called the submissions to the consultation process on possible legislation the “most blatantly alarmist things I’ve ever seen” and said the Government must proceed with legislation.

Sinn Féin also has a Bill on the issue in the Dáil this week, which the Government has said it will not oppose.