A report by MPs on internet ticket sales has called for eBay to prove that its ticket sellers are genuine fans with one or two spares, and not touts. A report to be published next month by Culture, Media and Sport select committee will accuse eBay and similar ‘secondary ticket agents’ such as Viagogo and Seatwave, of collaborating with touts who buy up huge numbers of tickets for popular events, and then sell them online at vast profits.
They will urge the Office of Fair Trading to make test court cases against secondary agents, to establish whether the resale of tickets – prohibited under the terms and conditions of sale – is illegal or not. eBay and other sites claim they are “just a venue”, bringing buyers and sellers together: data protection regulations stop them revealing to ticket issuers who is offering tickets for sale.
I’ve said this before and doubtless I’ll say it again: I don’t think eBay are the issue here. There were touts outside gigs long before eBay was even a twinkle in Pierre Omidyar’s eye. This is yet another attempt by lazy ticket issuers to make eBay responsible for policing ticket sales, when they should be doing that themselves.