The head of an influential committee of MPs launched a scathing attack on Viagogo today after the controversial ticket resale giant snubbed a parliamentary hearing for the second time in as many years.
Damian Collins, who chairs the department for digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) select committee, slammed the act of non-attendance as a "gross discourtesy" and a "public embarrassment".
Viagogo, which had been invited to Parliament over frustrations around the firm’s secondary ticketing business practices, said it was unable to attend because of legal worries that the hearing might impact on a court proceeding currently being brought against the firm by the UK’s competition watchdog over consumer law breaches.
Last week the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced it would be taking Viagogo to court, having threatened the firm with legal action several months ago if it did not give consumers clearer information about the tickets it advised.
Today’s damning comments from Collins come after several years in which the global ticketing provider has faced pressure over its secondary ticket market, such as reports in January 2017 that tickets for London’s popular musical Hamilton were listed on the firm’s site for almost £3000 just two hours after going on sale, despite measures to prevent touting.
The news also comes as Viagogo announces a lawsuit against Ed Sheeran’s promotion company Kilimanjaro for confiscating genuine tickets from fans and forcing them to purchase new ones.
Kilimanjaro rejected the claim, telling The Associated Press in an email it will "defend against this action vigorously and looks forward to doing so in court".
"The claims made today by Viagogo are ludicrous, laughable and most importantly totally false," Kilimanjaro said in a tweet.