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Via-no-no: Ticketer fined in Italy, investigated in Spain

Viagogo has been fined a further €1m by Italy's AGCM, and is the subject of an investigation by public prosecutors in Valencia, in a rough few days for the resale site

By Jon Chapple on 04 Apr 2018

Giovanni Pitruzzella, AGCM

AGCM chairman Giovanni Pitruzzella


image © AGCM

Viagogo has been slapped with another fine – this time to the tune of €1 million – by the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) for alleged unfair commercial practices.

The Italian version of the ever-controversial secondary ticketing platform, Viagogo.it, is accused of hosting ticket listings that fail to display the face value of each ticket, the seat/row number and the total ticket price (after fees and charges) – all in violation of articles 20, 21 and 22 of the Italian consumer code.

The AGCM investigation dates to April 2017, when Swiss-based Viagogo and three other resale sites were fined a collective €700,000 for similarly failing to provide complete ticket information to consumers. At the time, the company was given sixty days to comply with consumer law – and claimed it would do so, according to AGCM – but a year later, many consumers and associations are still complaining of opaque ticket pricing and unclear information on seating location, leading to the €1m fine.

Although a blow for Viagogo, it should be noted that CTS Eventim’s TicketOne recently successfully appealed a €1m fine of its own, for allegedly passing tickets directly to secondary sites, and will be reimbursed by AGCM.

Viagogo is accused of violating the Italian consumer code

Almost concurrently with the AGCM action, Viagogo has also come under fire in Spain, with the Valencian public prosecutor’s office announcing it has opened an investigation into whether price gouging on Viagogo.es for U2’s two shows in Madrid in September constitutes “abusive conduct” under Spanish law.

According to 20 Minutos, the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office (Fiscalía) of Valencia has received several complaints from consumers after U2 tickets sold out “in a few minutes” and were listed on Viagogo for up to €1,500 shortly after.

Concerns over ticket prices for U2’s 2018 Experience + Innocence European tour have similarly spurred authorities in the Netherlands into action, with Dutch culture minister Ingrid van Engelshoven announcing last month she is to consult the local live music business on potential regulation of the secondary ticket market.

 


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