UPDATED: Secondary ticketer Viagogo has sued Ed Sheeran’s promotion company, alleging fraud over canceled tickets to the singers recent tour. The startup also has refused to testify before a committee of the UK Parliament.
Update from The Guardian: "The ticket resale company Viagogo has been accused of gross discourtesy by MPs after refusing to attend a parliamentary committee for a second time, as it blamed legal proceedings brought against it by the competition watchdog.
Members of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee were due to grill Viagogo on business practices that have made it one of the most controversial companies operating in the UK in recent years."
Viagogo recently announced that it was moving it's entire Switzerland-based team to the U.S.
The company said it issued legal proceedings in Germany against Kilimanjaro Live after the company canceled thousands of tickets for Sheeran’s concerts after they were resold through the Viagogo service, according to The Guardian.
In the lawsuit, Viagogo accused Kilimanjaro’s chief executive, Stuart Galbraith, “confiscating thousands of genuine tickets at the gate, forcing fans to buy new tickets, and pocketing millions of pounds in duplicate sales,” the Guardian reported.
The dispute stems from May 2018 when Kilimanjaro canceled more than 10,000 tickets to Ed Sheeran shows after they had been resold through the secondary market service. Customers affected by the cancellation were offered assistance in obtaining a refund and purchasing new tickets and according to the BBC, the cancellations cost Viagogo more than £240,000.
“We’re achieving exactly what Ed wanted, which is ‘we want you to come in and pay this [fixed] price,’” Stuart Galbraith of Kilimanjaro Live, said at the time. “The only agency which listed [resale tickets] against our wishes and ignored all our correspondence was Viagogo.”
However, Viagogo maintains that the canceled tickets were a bargaining tactic in a bid to garner more favorable terms with Viagogo.
“Following a dispute over his request for preferred terms, he threatened that he would use his artists, such as Ed Sheeran and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, to put pressure on Viagogo even if it meant causing huge inconvenience to his artist’s fans,” Viagogo alleged in their lawsuit, per the Guardian.
Galbraith told the Guardian that he was not aware of the legal proceedings, but dismissed them as “laughable” the newspaper reported.