EAST Renfrewshire MP Paul Masterton has raised concerns surrounding online ticket bots and the effect they have on pushing up prices for festival and concertgoers.

Online bots can harvest hundreds of tickets when they initially go on sale, before re-selling them in a secondary market to the general public.

This allows ticketing bot companies to artificially increase the price of a ticket in order to make a profit – leaving many people priced out of events they would otherwise be able to afford to attend.

Tours by top artists such as Adele, U2 and Take That are among the ‘must-see’ events to be seized upon by firms which hoover up tickets at the expense of ordinary fans.

Mr Masterton decided to take action after he was contacted by some of his constituents who had been left frustrated by the hi-tech bots.

The Conservative MP raised his concerns with Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

In reply, Ms Bradley said she “sympathised” with Mr Masterton’s concerns, especially during the festive period, when many people try to book tickets to events as gifts for loved ones.

She went on to add that the UK Government is introducing a new offence in the Digital Economy Act 2017 in a bid to prevent such automated software, whilst also strengthening provisions contained in the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

Mr Masterton told the Barrhead News: “Constituents had raised concerns with me surrounding the use of online ticket bots.

“It is simply unacceptable that large companies are able to inflate prices for customers who just want to see a concert or attend a festival or a football match.

“I am happy to see the UK Government putting measures in place, so practises like this become a thing of the past.”