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Prodiss backs ‘landmark’ Google resale verdict

A French court has upheld its previous judgement after the association brought legal action over ads for Viagogo, StubHub and Rocket Ticket

By James Hanley on 06 Apr 2023

Malika Séguineau, Prodiss

Malika Séguineau

Prodiss has hailed a “landmark decision” after Google failed in its appeal against a ruling banning the purchase of adverts promoting tickets sold by unauthorised secondary ticketing platforms in France.

The French live music association brought the lawsuit against Google France and Google Ireland after noticing advertisements for tickets to shows by Rammstein, Drake and Metallica on sites including, and at, or near, the top of Google’s search results.

In France, it is illegal to sell tickets without authorisation from the event organiser.

The Judicial Court of Paris found Google liable for reputational damage to live entertainment professionals back in 2020, noting that by accepting advertising from ticket resale sites, it may have given fans the false impression that rightsholders benefit from inflated secondary market prices.

The court prohibited Google Ireland, which operates Google Ads (formerly AdWords), from allowing the purchase of advertising keywords relating to the sale of tickets for shows in France, unless the purchaser can prove that they have written authorisation from the rightsholder.

“This is another step in the right direction to ensure a fair, safe, and legal process for ticket sales in France”

That judgement, which applies to all live shows taking place in France, has now been upheld, with the company also fined €300,000 in damages.

“This is a landmark decision for us,” says Prodiss CEO Malika Séguineau. “We are very pleased that the court of appeal has ruled in favour of protecting the rights of the producers and the rights of the audience. After several previous decisions against illegal platforms over the last years, this is another step in the right direction to ensure a fair, safe, and legal process for ticket sales in France.”

Sam Shemtob, director of the Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT), adds: “This is a big win for those of us who want to see tickets in the hands of fans and not sold on by price-gouging touts. Rightfully, a lot of fans’ anger gets focussed on the resale platforms themselves, but Google is a major player in steering people away from face value tickets sold by the primary seller, even when there are still tickets available. The clearer Google’s role becomes for all to see, the better.”

Google began accepting advertising from Viagogo once more in November 2019, having previously banned the site from its AdWords platform.


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