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Top promoters and ticketers face prosecution

Authorities accuse promoters of unfair practices by putting tickets straight on resale sites

By James Drury on 02 Aug 2017

Madrid City Hall

Madrid City Council is urging prosecutors to take action


image © Carlos Delgado

Some of the biggest ticketing companies and promoters in Spain and Italy are facing prosecution as authorities continue to crack down on touting.

In Milan, state prosecutor Adriano Scudieri has accused promoters Di and Gi, Live Nation and Vivo of misleading consumers about how close concerts were to selling-out. He also claims they signed “hidden agreements” with secondary ticketing site Viagogo to directly hand over tickets for sale at “unreasonably” high prices without them getting on the primary market, netting €1.4million in the process.

The companies have further been accused of conspiring against rights collection organisation, SIAE.

In Spain, Madrid City Council has called on the region’s Department of Consumer Affairs to take action against Ticketmaster, accusing it of “misleading advertising”. It alleges the firm fraudulently told customers that concert tickets were sold-out, then directed them to its resale site Seatwave, where the same tickets cost vastly more.

This latest action in Spain and Italy seems to mark a renewed effort by states across Europe to tackle ticket touting.

In April, the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) levied fines totalling €1.7 million on five ticket agencies.

TicketOne, owned by Germany’s CTS Eventim, was fined €1m for failing to take adequate measures to prevent tickets getting into the hands of touts. Four secondary ticketing sites – Viagogo, MyWayTicket, Live Nation’s Seatwave and eBay/StubHub’s Ticketbis – were hit with a collective €700,000 fine for failing to provide complete ticket information to customers “concerning several essential elements which potential buyers need to make their transactional decisions”.

 


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