Thursday, 15 October 2015

UK Government appoints Michael Waterson to review secondary ticketing

The UK government's Department Of Culture, Media & Sport has announced that Professor Michael Waterson will lead the review of the secondary ticketing market which follows from from the newly passed Consumer Rights Act - after MPs Mike Weatherley and Sharon Hodgson managed to ensure that some but not all of their concerns regarding the secondary ticketing market were enshrined in the Act- although one key proposal - that people reselling tickets online must publish their identity, was not included. That information would have allowed anti-touting promoters to more easily cancel tickets being touted as they appear on resale sites. The new legislation did provide for a review of consumer protection measures in the secondary ticketing domain. Prof Waterson, specialises in industrial economics, including the economics of retail will chair the review. Interested parties have been invited to submit evidence by 20 Nov. 

Conservative MP Philip Davies is one MP who is publicly against regulation, sharing the same view as the secondary ticketing market that that increased regulation will have little effect on touts and will simply result in less not more protection for consumers saying: "Now that a chair of the government's ticket review is in place, it is imperative that a proper review of the entire market is carried out. As an economist, Professor Waterson will know that the regulations introduced in the Consumer Rights Act have done little to bring down prices, instead harming fans by making it easier for their tickets to be cancelled" and  "The government needs to realise that needless intervention is not the answer and will only serve to drive many consumers away from safe online platforms and into the arms of street touts. Any regulations in this area therefore need to be carefully thought through and firmly guided by the available evidence".

See the call for evidence on the DCMS website here.

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