We welcome the Commission’s initiative on digital fairness and the related consultation on consumer law.
While current rules on consumer protection are still valid, we agree with the European Commission that certain aspects of current legislation must be adapted to the digital environment, more concretely to digital transactions and business to consumer relations online, bearing in mind compliance costs for small and micro-sized companies.$
As Pearle* highlighted over the last years in its contributions to public consultations, in the context of consumer protection, the live performance sector has been facing serious problems with a growing online secondary ticketing market. Event organisers have been partnering up with online marketplaces to sell tickets for live shows and other events, while at the same time non-authorised platforms and online traders have created a parallel market to sell tickets, often – to the detriment of consumers, artists, and event organisers – for prices much higher than face-value.
The commercial practice to use automated means such as bots to buy a large number of event tickets with the aim to resell them, was considered unfair under Directive 2005/29/EC. While this is a step in the right direction, concerns related to enforcement and the complex secondary ticketing market using different methods to acquire tickets remain throughout the EU.
In the 2020 New Consumer Agenda, enforcement of consumer rights as well as international cooperation are listed as key priorities of the Commission. In this context, Pearle* advocates that these priorities are considered in the updated EU consumer law on digital fairness.