Google Suspends Secondary Ticketing Site Viagogo From Advertising | Music News
Viagogo has been suspended from advertising by Google after claims emerged that touts were using the site to sell tickets at an inflated price. The secondary ticketing service is also facing legal action from the Competition and Markets Authority who allege that Viagogo hasn’t done enough to change its business practices.
In a statement Google explained their decision to remove Viagogo from its global search rankings.
“When people use our platform for help in purchasing tickets, we want to make sure that they have an experience they can trust”, they said. “This is why we have strict policies and take necessary action when we find an advertiser in breach”.
Last year, the Football Association and the campaign group UK Music signed an open letter to senior Google executives, urging them to stop Viagogo from advertising.
In March, MPs warned music fans to avoid using Viagogo until it “fully complies with consumer law”.
A report by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee, MP and committee chairman Damian Collins claimed the site “caused distress for too many music fans for too long”.
“We regret that such time and public money is being spent on bringing the platforms, principally Viagogo, into line with consumer law that they should have complied with from the outset”, the report stated.
The CMA initially took legal action against Viagogo in August last year amid concerns it was breaking consumer-protection law.
As a result, a court ordered the company to overhaul the way it did business, including telling buyers which seat they would get and if there was a risk they could be turned away at the door.
The CMA now alleges that Viagogo is ignoring its demands to make changes and plans to launch legal proceedings for contempt of court.
It claims Viagogo is still giving misleading ticket-availability messages and incomplete addresses of businesses selling tickets.
If found to be in contempt, the company could be faced with high fines.
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