Touts who bulk buy tickets to sell them on for exorbitant prices will face unlimited fines.

The Digital Economy Bill will be amended to make it illegal to use "bots" to get around limits on the maximum number of tickets that can be bought.

Bots buy large amounts of tickets allowing secondary ticket companies to sell them at hugely inflated prices when events are sold-out.

A £85 ticket for Adele was reportedly being sold online for £24,840 last year.

One secondary ticketing website, Viagogo, was last month accused of "moral repugnance" for reselling tickets to an Ed Sheeran cancer charity gig for up to £5,000.

The culture minister Matt Hancock said it was "simply not fair" and using bots will become a criminal offence as part of a crackdown on resale websites.

Mr Hancock said: "This profiteering is simply not fair, so we are acting to put fans first and improve the chances of seeing our favourite musicians and sports stars at a reasonable price.

"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."

The move was welcomed by Jo Dipple, the chief executive of music industry representatives UK Music.

She said: "Massive profit is made by people who are taking value out of the music industry and putting tickets out of the reach of music fans.

"Banning bots is a step towards ensuring the ticketing market for live events works more fairly for gig-goers."

Last year New York made it a criminal offence when a report found that touts using a single bot had managed to buy 1,000 tickets in one minute for a U2 concert at Madison Square Garden.