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NZ Commission wins appeal for Viagogo injunction

New Zealand’s Court of Appeal overrules a High Court decision and allows the Commerce Commission to place temporary restrictions against Viagogo

By Anna Grace on 03 Oct 2019

NZ Commerce Commission wins appeal for Viagogo injunction

image © New Zealand Commerce Commission

New Zealand’s Commerce Commission has successfully appealed against a High Court decision that prevented the issuing of an injunction against Switzerland-based online ticket reseller Viagogo.

On Wednesday (2 October), New Zealand’s Court of Appeal overturned the High Court’s ruling that it did not have the jurisdiction to place an injunction against Viagogo, given that the secondary site had not been served with court proceedings in its native Switzerland.

In February, the High Court had rejected the Commerce Commission’s application to place an interim injunction against Viagogo. The injunction sought to prevent the use of “false and misleading” information around ticket prices and availability.

The judgement finds that, although the court “cannot finally determine a claim against a defendant while any protest to jurisdiction is outstanding”, the power “to grant interim relief is not limited in the same way”.

The Commission had claimed that Viagogo misled consumers by marketing itself as an “official” seller, exaggerating the scarcity of tickets, indicating tickets “guaranteed” entry and advertising ticket prices without including additional fees.

“The Commission will need to consider the changes made to Viagogo’s website, and decide whether in light of those changes it wishes to pursue its application for interim relief”

However, the judgement notes that “matters have moved on” since the hearing, stating that the Commission needs “to consider the changes made to Viagogo’s website, and decide whether in light of those changes it wishes to pursue its application for interim relief.”

A Viagogo spokesperson comments: “We have worked hard to address the New Zealand Commerce Commission’s concerns and remain committed to ensuring that Viagogo’s platform is compliant with the law.

To that end, given the extensive changes that have been made to the site, it is our hope that we can work directly with the Commerce Commission to resolve any outstanding issues.”

Viagogo legal action in an array of countries. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently halted proceedings against the site due to increased transparency, in a move that concerned anti-tout groups.

Courts in Australia and Germany have recently ordered Viagogo to make changes to the way it presents information. The site was banned from advertising through Google in a “landmark moment” in July.

 


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