Consumer investigation to focus on ticket providers

A formal investigation has been launched by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission into ticketing of live events, citing “suspected breaches of competition law” as the reason for its probe.

Consumer investigation to focus on ticket providers

The statutory body said its investigation would focus primarily on potentially anti-competitive conduct by operators including those involved in providing tickets and ticketing services, promoters and venues.

The CCPC confirmed that it has issued witness summonses and formal requirements for information to a number of parties involved in the sector as part of its investigation.

It said: “The CCPC welcomes contacts from parties in the sector who may have information that they feel is relevant to the investigation.”

It said it could not currently provide any further information as the investigation was continuing.

The CCPC, headed up by chairperson Isolde Goggin, has the power to begin civil or criminal enforcement proceedings where evidence of breaches of competition law is found during an investigation.

The probe comes in the midst of frustration being expressed by TDs this week over the recent resale of U2 tickets for multiples of their cost on resale websites.

When U2 tickets on Ticketmaster’s site sold out, tickets immediately appeared on its sister site Seatwave for multiples of the original price. There have been some sellers asking for up to €1,000 a ticket.

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock, who is preparing to introduce legislation on the issue, said there was technology available that could prevent such a situation arising.

However, Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor warned such measures could mean tickets going on sale for higher prices abroad, instead of in Ireland.

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