LONDON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The UK Government has decided to take a pass on making any move to formally regulate the burgeoning secondary ticket market.
Responding to a report on the subject prepared by the Culture, Media and Sport select committee, Culture Secretary Andy Burnham suggested that concert promoters and ticket resellers should develop a voluntary framework to address the issue. He went on to caution that he felt that any legislation should be a "last resort."
He wasn't entirely sanguine on the subject of the secondary ticket market however, opining that "The reselling of tickets at inflated prices doesn't add anything to the cultural life of the country, but instead leeches off it and denies access to those least able to afford tickets." the Guardian reported.
The voluntary framework will initially address major sporting events such as World Cup soccer and Wimbledon and attempt to define a code that would limit the number of tickets sold to each person and address refund, distribution, exchange and allocation policies.
The government also said it would work with the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers to deliver a new code of principles limiting the number of tickets on sale to each person, and outlining clear refund policies and improved distribution, allocation and exchange arrangements.
Still, secondary ticket brokers weren't entirely satisfied with the "voluntary" regulations. Seatwave's chief executive, Joe Cohen, said he feared it "may represent a move to restrict the secondary market by the back door", while auction giant eBay, issued a statement which read in part:
"The trouble with bans or price caps is that they don't work and can be counter-productive. They end up either driving the trade on to other parts of the Internet – or, even worse, on to street corners where there is no consumer protection if things go wrong." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers