Resale restrictions differ in Europe

Sam Shemtob, the managing director of the ticket resale advocacy group Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing, said that ticketing platforms are able to implement caps in their resale policies but that the numbers vary across Europe. On the European ticket site Eventim, he said, resale tickets are capped at face value plus booking fees in the U.K. and at a 20% markup from face value in countries like the Netherlands. Conversely, he said, Germany has no limit on resale price increases on Eventim. 

“The laws are getting better across Europe in that they’re becoming more homogenized and more equal," Shemtob said. "But at the moment, there are quite a few different laws in different member states.”

Last year, the European Parliament passed the Digital Services Act, which includes ticket regulations and will take effect Jan. 1. Shemtob hopes it will create “a more level playing field in terms of both regulation and enforcement.”

The DSA will require resellers to provide proof of identification and contact information, mandate the disclosure of third-party sellers on resale sites and ban “panic-buying” tactics, such as using timers. 

“We are exploring and trying to get a better understanding of how it will be enforced, because without enforcement, legislation is meaningless or almost meaningless,” said Shemtob, who said regulatory enforcement remains a problem in European countries. 

While the U.K. and the European Union are taking steps to address ticketing issues, fans might still be faced with high prices and confusing resale markups similar to those in the U.S., depending on the country. Shemtob said “consumer education is so important” when it comes to buying tickets and added that campaigns like “Make Tickets Fair!” provide resources about resale laws across the region.