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FEAT signs 30 strong joint statement to EU calling for stricter regulation of online marketplaces

The Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT) has joined a list of 30 signatories in a statement penned by the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) concerning the European Union’s upcoming Digital Services Act. 

Addressed to members of the European Parliament, Council and Commission, the statement, which references the problems caused by secondary ticketing, calls for the Digital Services Act to set out “effective and unambiguous rules [...] to tackle illegal activities and rogue traders”.

It argues that self-regulation has failed and online marketplaces need to be held accountable for the transactions they facilitate in order to better protect consumers.

This includes becoming liable when they fail to carry out basic due diligence or fail to put a stop to illegal activity on their site once they are aware of it. The letter also recommends marketplaces be required to set up a robust verification system for traders. 

In the case of secondary ticketing, the Digital Services Act offers the opportunity to put a stop to the exploitation of live music, entertainment and sports fans at the hands of ticket touts, who are able to operate on ticket resale sites across Europe under a veil of anonymity. The statement references evidence provided by FEAT in the form of nearly 60 major legal cases and initiatives involving secondary ticketing marketplaces that have taken place in Europe over the past few years. 

Fellow signatories include organisations including the Eurogroup for Animals, European Environmental Bureau and European Union of Electrical wholesalers.

Amendments to the Commission’s proposal for the Digital Services Act are currently in discussion, with the Parliamentary committee responsible preparing to vote on the final text it wishes to take forward. 

Said FEAT Director Sam Shemtob: Secondary ticketing legislation across Europe takes the form of a patchwork of laws that differ from state to state. This enables unscrupulous marketplaces with deep pockets to operate with impunity – ripping off fans and damaging the entire live sector. 

“The evidence of wrongdoing is overwhelming.  By increasing accountability and introducing basic due diligence requirements that are uniform across Europe, the Digital Services Act can help create a ticket resale ecosystem that stops fans being ripped off and strengthens the recovery of the live sector post-Covid”. 

The statement can be viewed here. 

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