StubHub purchased by rival Viagogo for $4 billion

StubHub bosses say it will provide "better pricing".

Controversial secondary ticketing site Viagogo has agreed to pay $4bn (£3.1bn) for rival StubHub.

The deal, which is set to be completed by the end of March, brings StubHub back in the control of its co-founder Eric Baker.

Mr Baker, who launched Viagogo, and continues to the run the site, left StubHub before it bought by eBay for $310m in 2007. “Buyers will have a wider choice of tickets, and sellers will have a wider network of buyers,” he told Sky News.

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“Bringing these two companies together creates a win-win for fans – more choice and better pricing.”

It comes after Viagogo faced legal action from the Competition and Markets authority (CMA). In July, the site was also suspended from advertising by Google following claims that touts use the site to sell tickets at an inflated price.

In a statement, Google said: ““When people use our platform 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.”

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Last year, Google was also urged to take action against the website by campaigners from the Society Of Ticket Agents And Retailers (STAR), FanFair Alliance, and more. The organisations hit out at Viagogo’s practice of paying for advertising in order to gain prominence in search results.

MPs warned music fans to avoid using Viagogo until it “fully complies with consumer law” in March. Their report claimed that the secondary site “caused distress for too many music fans for too long”.

The CMA initially began legal action against the company in August 2018. In November last year, they obtained a court order to demand that Viagogo cleaned up its practices to ensure full legal compliance to protect consumers.

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