Viagogo acquires StubHub in $4bn deal
Secondary ticket platforms are often the subject of controversy, from lack of protection for purchasers, along with the unofficial nature of their sales. However, where there were four big players in the market a few years ago, now there is one, as Viagogo has just acquired StubHub for an eye-watering $4 billion, in a move that has already been heavily criticised by consumer rights groups.
It’s kind of full-circle for Viagogo boss Eric Baker, who originally founded StubHub back in 2000 before selling it to online marketplace ebay for $310 million back in 2007, before founding his current venture. But the move effectively sees the company have something of a monopoly on the secondary ticketing market, given Ticketmaster closed their own secondary re-sale services GetMeIn and Seatwave back in 2018. The battle against ticket resellers has waged ever since, with Viagogo being banned from publishing paid-advertising via Google Ads back in July after pressure from anti-touting groups. Even there, this week has been another win for Viagogo, as the ban was lifted today.
The move also sees Viagogo now able to capitalise on the North American market – the company was previously most well-known in Europe and the rest of the world, while StubHub was the major player in the US market. But with continued pressure from law-makers, lobby groups, and official ticket sellers, it’s clear the war isn’t quite over for Viagogo just yet.