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Viagogo investigated under Australia anti-tout law

The secondary ticketing platform is under investigation for allegedly breaking local legislation that caps resale prices at 110% of the original cost

By Jon Chapple on 07 Jul 2021

Fair Trading NSW commissioner Rose Webb

Fair Trading NSW commissioner Rose Webb


image © Liquor & Gaming NSW

Viagogo is under investigation in Australia for allegedly breaching anti-ticket touting laws in the state of New South Wales (NSW).

The secondary ticketing site is being probed by NSW Fair Trading, part of the NSW government’s Department of Customer Service, for allowing the sale of tickets at up to a 900% mark-up on its platform, according to the organisation’s commissioner, Rose Webb.

Webb (pictured) tells the Advertiser that NSW Fair Trading has received 36 complaints about Viagogo in 2021, of which 16 related to potential breaches of the state’s anti-scalping legislation. In New South Wales, it is illegal to resell a ticket for more than 110% of its original price.

“It was big news in 2018 when NSW Fair Trading made ticket scalping illegal by making it an offence for ticket resellers such as Viagogo to charge more than 10% extra on the original ticket price and transaction costs,” she says.

“We will be investigating and using our powers to stop any unlawful behaviour”

“We did briefly see a drop-off in complaints but then we saw a spike at the end of 2019. When the pandemic hit complaints obviously dropped off again as events were not able to go ahead. Those within the entertainment and arts industry have been vocal about the obliteration of their industry due to Covid and they do not need the additional stress of ticket resellers scalping well-meaning fans.”

The company was fined A$7 million in October after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found it had been posing as an ‘official’ ticket seller, as well as making false claims about ticket prices and scarcity.

Webb says NSW Fair Trading “will be investigating and using our powers to stop any unlawful behaviour” in New South Wales.

A Viagogo spokesperson says: “Viagogo has taken prompt action to remove tickets from our platform that do not comply with the state’s regulatory regime. Viagogo is committed to complying with legislation in all markets we operate in, including NSW, and when we are notified of listings that are not compliant, we act quickly to remove them. We look forward to continuing to productively engage with regulators to ensure that our website is compliant and the safe and transparent marketplace we offer continues to help customers gain access to events worldwide.”

 


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