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An Italian court rules in favour of controversial ticketing site Viagogo and orders the refund of fines for lack of transparency and non-compliance
By Anna Grace on 03 Jul 2019
The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) must return a €1 million fine to Viagogo, after the Council of State rejected claims made against the secondary ticketing site in 2017.
The watchdog levied fines against Viagogo and three other resale sites in April 2017 for failure to supply transparent information to customers. A year later, the regulator raised the fine against Viagogo to €1 million for lack of compliance.
However, following an appeal by Viagogo, the council ruled that the site is a “passive hosting provider”, and therefore not responsible for ensuring sellers provide all the ticket information required by law.
The council also sided with Viagogo over its self-denomination as an ‘official site’, which many deem misleading to fans who believe they are buying from a legitimate, artist-approved seller.
Allegations related to so-called ‘drip pricing’ – advertising a cheaper price to attract customers before disclosing extra fees – and false claims of scarcity of tickets were similarly rejected.
As a result of its rulings, the court also annulled all fines for non-compliance.
“We have always sought an open dialogue with the AGCM to ensure we are compliant with Italian consumer law”
Viagogo managing director Cris Miller “welcomes” the “landmark judgement from Italy’s highest administrative court.”
“We have always sought an open dialogue with the AGCM to ensure we are compliant with Italian consumer law,” states Miller.
“We look forward to continuing discussions about the positive role viagogo plays in Italy and around the world through our platform.”
The AGCM is no stranger to refunding fines. In 2018, the regulator was ordered to return €1m to CTS Eventim-owned TicketOne, after a court rejected allegations that the ticketing site had made insufficient attempts to prevent its tickets ending up on the secondary market.
Last week, TicketOne chief executive Stefano Lionetti criticised the national communications regulator, AGCOM, for its “failure” to tackle secondary ticketing sites in the country.
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