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Ticketmaster shuts down Seatwave as pressure mounts from new anti-tout law

The move comes after the much-anticipated ticket touting law was approved by Cabinet in July.

Image: Cesare Andrea Ferrari via Shutterstock

TICKETMASTER HAS ANNOUNCED plans to shut down its ticket resale website Seatwave.

Seatwave, which was acquired by Ticketmaster in November 2014, allows fans who missed out on sold-out gigs to purchase official tickets.

It allows fans to sell their tickets, even within minutes of purchase, and charges a 10% “success fee” on sales. It also allows customers to set their own selling price.

The website has come in for criticism over the past year after U2 and Kendrick Lamar tickets, which both sold out within minutes on Ticketmaster, popped up on Seatwave for far more than the original price.

In a blog post today, Ticketmaster said: “That’s right, we’ve listened and we hear you: secondary sites just don’t cut it anymore and you’re tired of seeing others snap up tickets just to resell for a profit.

“All we want is you, the fan, to be able to buy tickets to events you love.”

Keith English, managing director of Ticketmaster Ireland said that “closing Seatwave and creating a new ticket exchange has also been part of Ticketmaster’s long-term plan”.

Ticketmaster also announced that it will be launching a “fan-to-fan” ticket exchange system on Ticketmaster where users “can easily buy tickets or sell tickets you can’t use at the price originally paid or less”.

“The new website will be rolled out in Europe early next year. But from today, there will be no new events listed on Seatwave,” the blog post said.

English added: “We’ve also put all the tickets in one place to make buying tickets simple and convenient. Fans will find all ticket types clearly marked on the same seat map, whether those are standard, Platinum, VIP, or face value resale tickets, with the total price to pay clear from the start.”

New ticket touting law 

The move comes after the much-anticipated ticket touting law was approved by Cabinet in July.

The proposed legislation would ban the above-face value resale of tickets for sporting and entertainment events in designated venues with a capacity of 1,000 or over.

It would also prohibit the use of bot software to purchase tickets in excess of the number permitted by event organisers.

More than 24 interested parties made submissions during the public consultation period on the possible changes to the law, which was undertaken in response to public concern at the resale of tickets at a price often well in excess of their face value.

Submissions by Ticketmaster and Seatwave said the companies were unhappy with proposed changes to the law.

In its submission, Seatwave stated that it strongly believes the introduction of legislation to regulate the ticket resale market “will be both ineffective and will, in fact, be detrimental to Irish fans”.

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