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Ticket-scalping bots set to face unlimited fines

Adele performs on stage in Cologne, Germany.
Sascha Steinbach | Getty Images

Ticket scalpers who use bots to bulk -buy tickets online and resell them at inflated prices will be subject to "unlimited fines" under new plans laid out by the U.K. Government.

Amendments to the U.K.'s Digital Economy Bill mean that it will be illegal to use bots to circumvent limits on the maximum number of tickets that can be bought by an individual.

Tickets purchased by bots can appear on secondary websites for vastly inflated sums, which has prompted criticism from high profile artists such as Adele and Ed Sheeran.

Last month, secondary tickets website Viagogo was accused of "moral repugnance" after it was found reselling tickets to an Ed Sheeran cancer charity concert for up to £5,000 ($6,100).

The U.K.'s Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesman said the profiteering was "simply not fair."

The move comes after U.K. ministers accepted in full recommendations of a review by Professor Michael Waterson of the University of Warwick.

The report also suggests that ticket websites should feature tougher measures to fight bot and action against the ticketing industry if it fails to act against touts.

Some ticketing groups have already taken action to combat bots. In January, the Broadway musical "Hamilton" announced new measures to prevent resale when the show opens in London this year. Theatergoers will be required to swipe the bank card used to purchase the ticket in order to gain access to the show.

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