Google enforces new secondary ticketing rules

Live music - music venue - Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash

Google has launched new rules for secondary ticketing websites to make them more clearly identifiable to consumers.

Any secondary ticketing platform advertising with the internet search engine has to carry a disclaimer at the top of its site to warn visitors it is not the primary seller of tickets.

The four largest resale websites – Get Me In, Viagogo, StubHub and Seatwave – have now made the changes demanded.

The move follows increasing pressure from consumer groups, the music and entertainment industries and the government.

Over recent months, secondary ticketing has attracted controversy across the board, prompting the music industry to set up the FanFair Alliance to tackle the issue.

Google’s action follows previous commitments to clamp down on the resale market, including introducing a policy in January that requires secondary ticketers to become certified before they can advertise through AdWords.

To become certified, businesses must make clear at the top of their website or app that they are secondary sellers rather than the primary ticket provider. Also, companies’ URLs must not imply they are the official ticket company or include the name of the artist or venue.

Now, resellers must also tell customers that prices may be higher than the face value, and prices must be broken down to show the values of included fees and taxes during checkout and before the customer provides payment information.

In March, Google will also require certified resellers to post the face value of the tickets along with the reseller’s price, and in the same currency.