Secondary ticketing
Produced in partnership with Louise Millington-Roberts, partner at Hill Dickinson
Secondary ticketing

The following Commercial guidance note Produced in partnership with Louise Millington-Roberts, partner at Hill Dickinson provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Secondary ticketing
  • What is secondary ticketing?
  • How is it regulated?
  • The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008
  • The Consumer Rights Act 2015
  • The Digital Economy Act 2017
  • Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigation into secondary ticketing
  • CMA open letter to secondary ticketing websites
  • CMA open letter to event organisers (EOs)
  • The steps an EO must take regarding use of restrictions on resale in order to reduce the risk of ticket terms being considered unfair
  • more

This Practice Note introduces the concept of secondary ticketing in the online marketplace and outlines the key legal issues, covering the following:

  1. What is secondary ticketing?

  2. How is it regulated?

  3. The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008

  4. The Consumer Rights Act 2015

  5. The Digital Economy Act 2017

  6. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigation into secondary ticketing

  7. CMA open letter to secondary ticketing websites

  8. CMA open letter to event organisers (EOs)

  9. The steps an EO must take regarding use of restrictions on resale in order to reduce the risk of ticket terms being considered unfair

  10. Summary of additional relevant considerations for the operator of a secondary ticketing platform

This Practice Note does not cover the resale of tickets at outside venues or by other non-online means.

What is secondary ticketing?

Secondary ticketing refers to the practice of reselling tickets for events, such as music or sporting events.

Once limited to ticket scalpers (or touts) operating outside venues, the secondary ticketing market has been transformed by the use of the internet and online platforms to facilitate the resale of tickets.

One of the main concerns arising in relation to online secondary ticketing is the online harvesting of large quantities of tickets (often using automated ‘bots’) for resale at an inflated price, thereby preventing purchase by genuine event attendees. The issue is not the reselling of the