StubHub and Viagogo offices raided
According to the Guardian investigators have raided the UK offices of ticket resale companies StubHub and Viagogo as part of a probe into suspected breaches of consumer law in the “secondary ticketing” industry.

Officials from the Competition and Markets Authority seized information about the companies’ relationship with prominent ticket touts, who harvest tickets for in-demand events and sell them via the two sites.

The raids are key to an investigation launched last year into whether ticketing companies are giving fans enough information about their tickets, such as who the seller is and whether buyers could be denied entry due to undisclosed restrictions on resale.

Investigators are also looking at whether touts benefit from “connections” at resale websites to gain advantage over genuine fans trying to get hold of tickets.

The CMA is understood to have issued an “information notice” to four ticket resale companies, also including GetMeIn and Seatwave, demanding details of any relationships with major touts and turnover from ticket sales.

According to sources familiar with the investigation, GetMeIn and Seatwave complied but Swiss-based Viagogo and StubHub, which is owned by online auction website eBay, refused to hand over the information voluntarily.

The regulator, whose powers also allow it to obtain search warrants, later raided StubHub’s office on Tottenham Court Road in London and Viagogo’s office on Cannon Street in early August.

Officials are understood to have seized data relating to StubHub’s “top seller” programme, which manages its relationships with industrial-scale ticket touts selling tickets at vast mark-ups.

A spokesperson for the CMA declined to comment on the raids, which came nearly a year after it opened a probe into “suspected breaches of consumer protection law in the online secondary tickets market”.

In March this year, it provided an update on its work, saying it was looking into whether tickets sold to fans could deny them entry to venues, as artists and promoters try to prevent large-scale touting.

The CMA is also working alongside National Trading Standards, which is understood to be conducting a separate investigation into ticket touting known as Operation Electra.