Politicians aim to clamp down on scalpers using bots to fleece fans.

Touts who bulk buy gig tickets and sell them on for inflated prices will face unlimited fines under new plans from the UK government.

An amendment to the Digital Economy Bill will make it illegal to use bots to get past limits on the maximum number of tickets that can be bought. The government’s crackdown on touts is a response to the Waterson Report on secondary ticketing, published last May.

The report suggested ticket sellers should have tougher anti-bot measures in place with a facility to report bot attacks, stronger enforcement of existing consumer rights laws, and the threat of further action if the industry does not act against rogue ticket traders.

“It’s unacceptable that touts are misusing technology to bypass security measures and buy up vast numbers of tickets before real fans get the chance, only to sell them on at rip-off prices,” said Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock. “It’s a growing problem that affects too many people.

“Ticket sellers also need to do more, by improving transparency and ensuring that they are acting in the best interests of consumers and help the market work for everyone.”

President Obama brought in anti-bot legislation in the US last year with the signing of the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016, making it illegal to use software to buy tickets to any event. [via Music Week]

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