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UK watchdog suspends court action against ticket reseller Viagogo

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(Reuters) – The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said https://www.gov.uk/government/news/viagogo-fixes-concerns-in-face-of-further-cma-legal-action on Thursday Viagogo had addressed its outstanding concerns about how the ticket reseller presents important information to its customers, prompting the watchdog to suspend preparations for court action.

Viagogo and the CMA have been in court on the issue of the use of “hover text” to display the face value of tickets and the deadlines for people to claim for refunds. Hover text is when users place their cursor over certain text to get additional information on a website.

CMA had also stated that the company was selling tickets with resale restrictions, misleading on availability of tickets and non-disclosure of certain seat numbers.

The watchdog had said in July that it would take further legal action against the company for contempt of court following concerns that it had failed to comply fully with an earlier court order.

“Viagogo has now addressed the UK competition authority’s outstanding concerns about how it presents information,” the CMA said on Thursday.

It added that a further independent review of Viagogo’s compliance with the court order will be completed in October, and if results suggests the company is not meeting its obligations then the CMA could take further action – through the courts if necessary.

The secondary ticketing market, which resells tickets for events ranging from pop concerts to tennis and soccer matches, has come under fire from politicians and regulators for sometimes sky-high prices and misleading customers.

“Viagogo is pleased it has been able to work with the CMA to find solutions to the final few areas of discussion … Looking ahead we will continue to work with them to ensure we are delivering the best possible service for our customers”, Viagogo spokesman said in an emailed statement.

The CMA first said in August last year that it would take Viagogo to court after the company failed to make changes to business practices that broke consumer law.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Samantha Machado in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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