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Viagogo told to sell StubHub’s business outside North America


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The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued its verdict on secondary ticketing firm Viagogo’s acquisition of rival StubHub.

The regulator says Viagogo will have to sell StubHub’s business outside North America, and that the CMA will have to approve the purchaser of the business before any sale can go through.

The body had concluded that if these measures were not taken, a combined Viagogo/StubHub would have so much market dominance, it could lead to higher fees or worse service for customers. “After examining all the options, including unwinding the merger in full, the evidence shows that viagogo selling StubHub’s international business will resolve our competition concerns, effectively and proportionately,” said the CMA inquiry group’s chair Stuart McIntosh. Viagogo has yet to respond publicly.

Anti-touting organisation FanFair Alliance has though, warning that there may yet be trouble ahead. “Anyone wishing to operate a successful uncapped ticket resale business in the UK would require two things: significant relationships with large-scale ticket touts to supply inventory, and deep enough pockets to outspend Viagogo on Google search advertising,” said boss Adam Webb. “That might be good for Google, and it might be good for ticket touts. But we need a conclusion that’s good for UK consumers, and stops them being ripped off.”

Stuart Dredge

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