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TypePrivately held company
HeadquartersGeneva, Switzerland
London, England
Key people
Eric Baker, founder and CEO
ProductsOnline secondary ticketing, online ticket exchange

Viagogo is a London-based ticket exchange and ticket resale company. It was founded in 2006 by Eric Baker, the co-founder of StubHub.

Viagogo is backed by venture capital investment firm Index Ventures as well as Brent Hoberman, the co-founder and former CEO of, and Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild.[1] In February 2020, it acquired Stubhub.[2][3][4]

The company has been criticized for inflation via ticket resale, lacking transparency, and in some cases, having sold counterfeit tickets. These controversies have led to legal action in some of the countries where Viagogo operates, and also led the UK Competition & Markets Authority to order changes to Viagogo's operations.


Viagogo was founded in 2006 in London by Eric Baker, the co-founder of US-based StubHub.[5][6] It was established to provide an online marketplace that allows consumers to buy and sell tickets to sports, music, theatre and comedy events. The company's launch included partnerships with Chelsea F.C. and Manchester United F.C. offering season ticket holders the chance to sell tickets to matches they could not attend to other club members, without having to lend their season card.[5] Manchester United ended its commercial agreement with Viagogo in 2011.[7]

In September 2013, Viagogo launched in Australia.[8] The launch was accompanied by two new partnerships with Melbourne-based AFL clubs Collingwood and Richmond.[9] In the same month, research commissioned by Viagogo revealed that Britons had lost £50 million to ticket fraud over the preceding twelve months[10] and 500,000 Australians had been the victims of ticket fraud, with 81% of cases resulting from transactions on eBay and Gumtree.[11]

On 25 November 2019, Viagogo announced its intent to acquire the U.S.-based StubHub (which was co-founded by Baker) for US$4.05 billion,[12] and in April 2020 a full investigation by the Competition & Markets Authority was launched in the U.K.[13] The CMA reported on 2 February 2021 that the StubHub merger gave rise to competition concerns and required Viagogo to sell the StubHub International business.[14]


The company has partnerships with sports properties in football, cricket, rugby, tennis, and wrestling. Under British law, unauthorised re-selling of Premier League and other football tickets is illegal, a restriction introduced by the British government to prevent hooliganism.[15] By working with the Premier League clubs to obtain official authorisation, Viagogo is permitted to resell tickets to the clubs with which it works.

In 2012 Viagogo extended its European ticketing agreement with multiplatform sports media company ESPN.[16]

Viagogo was the official ticket marketplace for the various music festivals in 2013, including the Isle of Wight Festival, the Boyzone 20th Anniversary Tour,[17] the Benicàssim Festival and Weekend Festival. In 2014, Viagogo partnered with SFX Entertainment[18] and in 2015 with the Australian Soundwave festival,[19] Ultra Beach Bali and Ultra Japan. In 2016, Viagogo was announced as the official ticketing partner of Ultra Singapore 2016.[20]

Criticism and legal action against Viagogo[edit]

Although Viagogo offers some tickets at face value it is well known for vastly inflating prices for events.[21] They have been accused of trying to manipulate online reviews after hundreds of people complained on Trustpilot that the company had ripped them off.[22] They have also faced criticism after they resold charity tickets to an Ed Sheeran cancer benefit concert at highly inflated prices.[23]

In February 2018, Viagogo was found to have been marketing tickets for a non-existent performance by a Hungarian stand-up comedian for about twice the normal price.[24]

In early 2011, Viagogo sold personalised tickets for Take That's 2011 Progress tour to German customers. Some people were not able to enter the concerts in Hamburg and Munich.[25] A German court banned Viagogo from claiming that the validity of the Take That tickets is “100% guaranteed”.[26]

They were involved in a legal battle with the UK Rugby Football Union (RFU) after they sold tickets which the RFU had forbidden from being resold for profit. Viagogo lost the initial trial and an appeal in the lower courts in December 2011,[27] resulting in the issuing of a Norwich Pharmacal order.

In November 2012, fake tickets to a Mumford & Sons concert in Portsmouth with a face value of £23.50 were sold for up to £200 on Viagogo's secure marketplace. In an interview with the BBC, a spokesperson asserted that this was a rare occurrence and all buyers would soon be offered a refund or tickets to a future concert.[28]

In August 2017, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission launched legal action against Viagogo with "allegations it made false or misleading representations, and engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct by failing to disclose substantial fees included in the price of tickets."[29]

In August 2018, New Zealand's Commerce Commission sued Viagogo after it sold non-existent tickets for a Bruno Mars concert for NZ$700.[30]

On 27 November 2018, the UK Competition & Markets Authority stated that Viagogo had, effective 17 January 2019, agreed to perform a "comprehensive overhaul" of its services in order to improve their transparency, and strengthen the guarantees it provides to consumers. Among other changes Viagogo agreed to list the identity of the seller and whether they are a professional trader (defined as performing more than 100 sales in a year), as well as seat numbers and the original face value of the ticket, and any risk that the ticketholder may be turned away due to resale restrictions. In addition, the company was required to cease using misleading indications of how many seats remain for an event, and not to advertise ticket sales for events whose ticketing policies restrict resale.[31]

A class action lawsuit has been filed against the company in Israel.[32]

The company is the only ticket resale site to have refused to work with Arctic Monkeys and Ed Sheeran to prevent ticket touts reselling tickets for their tours.[33]

In May 2018, the UK's Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Margot James, told BBC Radio 5 Live listeners planning to buy from secondary ticket sites, "don't choose Viagogo - they are the worst".[34] She gave this advice after the Advertising Standards Authority asked National Trading Standards to investigate Viagogo's alleged breaches of UK advertising rules about making any additional fees clear.[34] Viagogo is no longer under investigation by trading standards after complying with the ASA ruling.[35]

In August 2018, the UK Competition & Markets Authority confirmed it would be seeking court action against Viagogo following concerns that it is breaching consumer protection law.[36]

In 2018, the Swedish Consumer Agency received 132 reports about the company, making it the seventh most reported business operating in Sweden. A frequent criticism was that customers felt stressed and pressured into finishing their purchases.[37]

In March 2019, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport warned consumers not to buy or sell tickets through Viagogo.[38]

In July 2019, the UK Competition and Marketing Authority began legal proceedings against Viagogo for contempt of court as a result of the company ignoring repeated warnings to comply with consumer law.[39] Later that month, Google announced that it would no longer permit paid advertising by Viagogo, with a spokesperson stating "When people use [Google] for help in purchasing tickets, we want to make sure that they have an experience they can trust. This is why we have strict policies and take necessary action when we find an advertiser in breach."[40] Google has since resumed advertising for Viagogo.

In October 2020, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission fined Viagogo AU$7 million for misleading consumers, stating that they were an "official" seller of tickets to particular events, that certain tickets were scarce and for failing to disclose a 27.6% booking fee until late into the booking process.[41][42][43][44]

In 2021, complaints were received by the agency WellingtonNZ concerning Viagogo overpricing tickets to the musical Jersey Boys and the art event Van Gogh Alive.[45] As at February 2021 the New Zealand Commerce Commission is continuing to pursue legal action against Viagogo for false representations about ticket prices, their scarcity and the validity of tickets sold.[45]

Legal and government actions[edit]

Date Case description Outcome
October 2020 Federal Court of Australia fined Viagogo $7m for misleading consumers.[44]
September 2019 Japan's Consumer Affairs Agency issued about Viagogo.[46]
June 2019 Munich court against Viagogo: Az. 33 O 6588/17[47]
November 2018 Hamburg court issued injunction against Viagogo: Rammstein's 2019 Europe Stadium Tour[48][49]
September 2018 Viagogo sued Ed Sheeran's promoter Kilimanjaro Live for fraud[50]
May 2018 UK Advertising Standards Authority referred its ongoing case against Viagogo to Trading Standards[51]
April 2018 Hamburg court issued injunction against Viagogo: 2018 FIFA World Cup[52]
April 2018 Viagogo fined one million Euros in Italy[53]
April 2018 Viagogo investigated in Spain[53]
February 2018 Spain opens fraud probe[54]
January 2018 FIFA obtains preliminary injunction against Viagogo[55]
December 2017 German court bans Viagogo from claiming tickets are guaranteed[56]
December 2017 French Authorities FRC filed a complaint against Viagogo in Geneva[57]
December 2017 French authorities ordered Viagogo to end "deception"[58]
November 2017 UK Competition & Markets Authority built case against Viagogo[59]
September 2017 Swiss Government built case against Viagogo[60]
August 2017 Australian Government built case against Viagogo[61]
February 2017 Viagogo hit by multiple Spanish legal actions[62]
February 2017 Italian Society of Authors and Publishers legal blitz against Viagogo[63]
November 2017 UK Government (Competition and Markets Authority)[64]
November 2017 UK Government (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee) Ticket Abuse Inquiry[65]
November 2016 UK Tax Office targets secondary ticket industry[66]
July 2016 UEFA files criminal complaint against Viagogo for illegal ticket sales at Euro 2016[67]
November 2012 UK Rugby Football Union takes legal action over unlawful ticket sales[68]

Drip pricing[edit]

Viagogo sells secondhand tickets. During purchase, one price is shown up front which does not include additional costs such as value-added tax or booking fees.[37][neutrality is disputed]

High pressure sales tactics[edit]

The customer is presented with several messages about tickets being about to run out and in the user interface, the "continue" button jumps and a timer keeps counting down. According to executive Chris Miller, the messages are intended to show customers they are visiting a "dynamic market place" and helps buyers to "make an informed decision".[37]

During a test where three tickets were purchased, the average transaction took about ten minutes to complete which did not leave time to read the purchase conditions. Once the transactions were completed, the average price paid was about twice that charged by official ticket sellers.[37][neutrality is disputed]


In the UK, Labour MP Sharon Hodgson's proposal that legislation be introduced to cap resale prices at 10% higher than their face value was rejected by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.[69] After the company failed to appear before the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee of the UK Parliament in March 2017, Hodgson and fellow committee member Nigel Adams visited its London headquarters the following July, but the party was turned away.[70][71]


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