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Industry still against Italy named ticket law

Assomusica has warned of "chaos" should the introduction of personalised tickets for all 5,000-plus-cap. shows go ahead, with leading ticketer TicketOne also opposed

By Jon Chapple on 29 Mar 2019

Italian deputy Sergio Battelli is pushing for the introduction of named tickets

Italian deputy Sergio Battelli is pushing for the introduction of named tickets

image © Sergio Battelli

TicketOne, Italy’s largest primary ticket seller, has called on communications regulator AGCOM to properly enforce the country’s stringent anti-ticket touting regulations, ahead of the controversial introduction of named tickets for all large shows this July.

With the exception of those who resell tickets on “an occasional and non-commercial basis”, for-profit secondary ticketing was effectively outlawed in Italy in March 2018, with AGCOM (Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni, Communications Authority) empowered to go after offenders, and even shut down websites which continually break the new law. The restrictions followed a previous, ultimately abandoned, attempt to crack down on ticket touting (bagarinaggio), spearheaded former culture minister Dario Franceschini, in late 2016.

Commenting on the decision to file a legal petition with AGCOM, Stefano Lionetti, CEO of CTS Eventim-owned TicketOne, says: “[T]here is a good law in place, one of the clearest and most advanced in Europe, and the time has come to enforce it. Although the phenomenon of ticket touting has decreased markedly, there are still three clearly identifiable sites [Viagogo, StubHub/Ticketbis and MyWayTicket] that continue to speculate on the resale of tickets.”

TicketOne’s intervention comes as the Italian industry braces for the introduction of personalised tickets for all shows over 5,000 capacity on 1 July – introduced by Five Star Movement deputy Sergio Battelli as a means to further control the secondary market, but which has been consistently opposed by the majority of the business, who warn of disruption, queues and rising ticket prices.

Speaking today (29 March) at a press conference in Milan, Grancini continued: “We expect that the measures provided, if consistently and promptly applied, can definitively defeat the phenomenon. This is why we request policymakers and institutions to reopen the discussion [on the Battelli amendment] in order to minimise the inconvenience for the public, and the risks for businesses. We hope this will lead to a reflection on the actual need to introduce personalised tickets this coming July.”

“This amendment … will only generate chaos”

“We are opposed to any form of bagarinaggio, but consumers must know that with the introduction of named tickets from 1 July, ticket costs will increase, changing the user’s name will not be a quick procedure, and it will create more queues at [venue] entrances,” comments Vincenzo Spera, president of promoters’ association Assomusica, which also opposed the Battelli law.

“This amendment, approved in the government’s last budget law as a tool to combat the phenomenon of secondary ticketing, will only generate chaos,” Spera continues. “In order to carry out the necessary checks, event organisers will have to open the gates a long time before the show, employer more staff over several shifts. These costs will be paid by the those who buy the ticket; queues and waiting times will increase, especially during major events; and consumers will no longer be able to give a ticket to a family member, friend or relative.”

“Our mission has always been to facilitate and protect the public, and this is why we have submitted the petition to AGCOM: to protect honest consumers who should be guaranteed maximum ease of access to events,” said TicketOne general manager Andrea Grancini, who added that if the Battelli law is introduced in July, “two out of three tickets available on TicketOne channels will be personalised”.

Assomusica, which represents around 80% of Italy’s concert industry, instead proposes shutting down ticket resale sites and prosecuting those who break existing laws – rather than introducing new regulations that would “harm those who produce culture and […] wealth” for Italy.


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