Viagogo suspended from advertising on Google

The UK's live music industry is facing

The UK's live music industry is facing"stark challenges

The Football Association, several MPs and the trade body UK Music urged Google to stop accepting money from Viagogo to place the ticket website at the top of its search rankings in an open letter a year ago.

That's despite the fact that Viagogo has fallen foul of both the UK's Competiton and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The CMA said that, although Viagogo had made "many positive changes", these were not enough to comply fully with the court order.

In a statement, Google told the BBC: "When people use our platform for help in purchasing tickets, we want to make sure that they have an experience they can trust".

"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".

Sharon Hodgson, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on ticket abuse, said: "For years, I have heard from fans who were led to believe that Viagogo was a trusted and official resale website because it appeared at the top of a Google search".

In response, Viagogo said: "We were extremely surprised to learn of Google's concerns today".

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Late Monday Rossello released a statement saying he respected the demonstrators but did not address the calls for his resignation. The company's corporate communications manager, Owen Torres, announced the decision Tuesday on the company blog.

The CMA launched legal action against Viagogo in August past year over worries that it could be breaking consumer-protection law.

The secondary ticketing company has always been accused of jacking up prices for sporting events and concerts as well as selling invalid tickets, and double-selling seats.

Google said it would begin removing its ads on Wednesday.

Other measures include a requirement to pass on which individual seat has been allocated to customers as well as a stipulation to hand over information about the ticket seller in addition to ceasing its practice of relaying misleading information about the availability and popularity of tickets.

In March, the digital, culture, media and sport committee of the House of Commons urged fans to boycott Viagogo, saying it had ignored warnings.

Industry body UK Music has been among the organisations encouraging Google to take this step for some time.

Its campaign manager, Adam Webb, described Google's move as a "landmark moment and a major step forward to preventing exploitation of audiences in the secondary ticketing market".

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