MPs call for ban on ticket harvesting technology

A committee of MPs is lobbying Government to introduce a ban on technology used to 'harvest' tickets online for resale inflated prices.

MPs are now looking to extend their inquiry into online ticket touts

Members of the Culture, Media and Sports Committee warn levels of complacency in the industry are so high that the problem of ticketing abuse may be bigger than thought.

They have written to the Secretary of State, Karen Bradley, urging her to take “immediate measures” to make it an offence.

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They have also tabled an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill, which gets its final reading in the Commons next week.

The group, which held a one-off evidence session earlier this month, say they have uncovered “far-ranging and disturbing factors in the ticketing markets”.

They claim this includes “close relationships between those selling tickets on the primary market and sellers on the secondary market”.

Chairman Damian Collins said the answers they received from witnesses representing the industry ranged from “complacent to evasive”,

“Their failure to provide the most basic assurances about what they’re doing to tackle known large scale touts and fraudsters operating on their own sites... have led us to believe there may be much bigger problems in this market than we originally thought,” he said.

“We are writing to the Secretary of State to ask her to begin to look more closely at this issue.

“But also as a first step there seems to be a lot of consensus on amending the Digital Economy Bill to ban the technology that harvests tickets on a large scale.”

The inquiry was launched after committee member and Selby and Ainsty MP Nigel Adams raised the issue at PMQs.

MPs are now looking to extend the inquiry into the New Year.