Digital Services Act package: Pearle* highlights again concerns over secondary ticketing platforms (September 2020)

We welcome the opportunity to give input to the Commission consultation on the Digital Services Act package. The revision of rules applying to online platforms and marketplaces acting as intermediaries for online traders is a unique opportunity to update certain aspects of EU legislation with the aim to consider the digital transition and address legal gaps and loopholes.

Since several years, the live performance sector has been facing serious problems with a growing online secondary ticketing market, worth €12.14bn in 2019 in the EU. While event organisers are partnering up with online marketplaces to sell tickets for live shows and other events, non-authorised platforms and online traders have created a parallel market on which they sell tickets for prices much higher than face-value to the detriment of consumers, artists and event organisers.

Several Member States have already introduced legislative measures against the illegal resale of tickets in recent years. At the same time, the live performance sector took action against some secondary ticketing platforms and, in some countries in partnership with consumer organisations, informed consumers in campaigns about the impact of illicit secondary ticketing.

Despite these joint efforts, the illicit secondary ticketing market is flourishing. Numerous court cases against online ticketing platforms by governments or consumer organisations – some of them still pending – show the dimension and impact of the problem for consumers, artists and live performance organisations and reveal unfair commercial practices and fraud used by those platforms.

Given the scope and the fact that it concerns a cross-border issue, a European initiative is in this sense the only appropriate way to tackle such illegal form of trading tickets, by addressing the liability of platforms and clarifying the responsibilities, the oversight and the enforcement of rules.

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