Google has announced it has suspended ticket resale website Viagogo from its paid-for search results.
As BBC reports, Google said in a statement on Wednesday that the London-founded company had breached its advertising policy.
“When people use our platform for help in purchasing tickets, we want to make sure that they have an experience they can trust,” the statement reads.
“This is why we have strict policies and take necessary action when we find an advertiser in breach.”
In response to Google’s decision, Viagogo responded with their own statement, saying, “We were extremely surprised to learn of Google’s concerns today.
“We are confident that there has been no breach of Google’s policies and look forward to working with them to resolve this as quickly as possible.”
Live Performance Australia (LPA) applauded Google’s decision today, calling it a “great outcome for Australian ticket buyers, performers and producers”.
“We had approached Google some time ago for action to be taken over Viagogo’s advertising in Google’s paid search, and we’re delighted this has now been done,” LPA Chief Executive Evelyn Richardson said.
“It’s good for the ticket-buying public, and it’s good for artists who don’t want to see their fans being disappointed or ripped off through dodgy ticket resale practices.
“We would now like to see other online platforms follow suit and take similar action to protect consumers.”
The news comes only months after Viagogo was found guilty of misleading consumers by the Australian Federal Court.
Following a slew of public outcry and protests from artists in recent years, the Court found Viagogo in breach of Australian Consumer Law, stating it made “false or misleading representations and engaged in conduct liable to mislead the public when reselling entertainment, music and live sport event tickets”.
The website has been reported as advertising tickets to certain events as nearly all sold out, urging buyers to act quickly before they miss out when in reality, however they are only referring to tickets on Viagogo and not those available elsewhere, including primary ticket sites.
“Viagogo’s claims misled consumers into buying tickets by including claims like ‘less than 1 per cent tickets remaining’ to create a false sense of urgency,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in April.