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Italian ticket touts facing fines of €180,000

If passed, a budget law amendment by culture minister Dario Franceschini would forbid resale by anyone but the event's promoter, with fines from €30,000 to €180,000

By Jon Chapple on 14 Nov 2016

Dario Franceschini

image © BTO – Buy Tourism Online

The sale of tickets on the secondary market in Italy could soon be punishable by a fine of up to €180,000.

Following weeks of controversy around online ticket resale – which kicked off with complaints by consumer-protection groups over widespread touting of tickets for Coldplay’s shows in Milan next July and culminated with Italian pop stars Vasco Rossi and Tiziano Ferro severing ties with Live Nation Italy for alleged collusion with Viagogo – Italy’s culture minister, Dario Franceschini, on Friday tabled an amendment to the 2017 budget act which, if passed, would provide for fines of €30,000–€180,000 for the sale of tickets by anyone but the event’s promoter or authorised resellers.

Franceschini (pictured) calls touting an “intolerable phenomenon”, and says “recent events show that self-regulation” – such as that advocated by Prof Waterson in the UK – “is not enough: we need legislative action.”

If passed into law, Franceschini’s proposal would be among the strictest ticket resale regulations in the world. The 2017 budget must be approved by the Italian parliament by 31 December 2016.

“Recent events show self-regulation is not enough… we need legislative action”

Following an admission by Live Nation Italy’s managing director, Roberto de Luca, on TV programme Le Iene that “we issue some tickets, a very limited number of tickets, on other sites, in this case Viagogo,” the company has withdrawn from Italian promoters’ association Assomusica.

A Live Nation Italy statement, however, notes: “The allegations on Le Iene relate to a small number of tickets for a handful of international artists. Live Nation Italy has never been asked to list any tickets on secondary markets by Italian artists.”

Assomusica, which recently called for “urgent legislative measures” to tackle ticket touting, welcomes Franceschini’s bill.

“I acknowledge with great satisfaction that […] Minister Franceschini announced that he will submit an amendment to the budget law to limit and counter the phenomenon of online ticket touting, or secondary ticketing,” says its president, Vincenzo Spera. “I’m really satisfied to see this unity of views between the minister and Assomusica…

“Our association has always been at the forefront of [putting an end to] touts making money from spoiling cultural events, which promote art and socialisation.”


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