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Viagogo ordered to overhaul its ticket re-sale business

Key Points
  • The ticket resale site Viagogo must change the way it does business.
  • The firm has been accused of failing to meet U.K. consumer standards.
  • The online company must change its website and operations by mid-January.
Soccer fans enjoy a free pie from the 'Viagogo Pie Activation' stall.
Adam Davy - EMPICS | PA Images | Getty Images

The ticket resale site Viagogo must change the way it does business and overhaul its website by January of next year.

The U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has won a court order to enforce the changes following its investigation into concerns that Viagogo was breaking consumer protection law.

The CMA said Viagogo had agreed to the terms of the court order and there would now be no need for a trial.

In a ruling published Tuesday on the U.K. government's website, the court order instructs the online firm to make it easier for ticket buyers to get their money back under the advertised guarantee.

The company must now also highlight if there is a risk that ticket buyers will be turned away at the door of an event. It added that Viagogo must also work harder to stop the sale of tickets that a seller does not already own.

Customers must also be told which seat in the venue they will get, and the site can't tempt purchases by misleading customers over the availability and popularity of tickets.

In 2017, 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 CMA said rival resale sites had already agreed to comply with its demands.

Welcoming the settlement, a spokesperson for Viagogo told CNBC in an email: "We are pleased that we have been able to work closely with the CMA to come to an agreement that provides even greater transparency to consumers."

The company added that the agreement would enable buyers and sellers to exchange tickets with "more transparency and additional information."

Viagogo said as well as complying with the court order, it plans to display the original value of tickets on the website.