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TicketOne urges regulator to shutter secondary sites

CTS Eventim-owned TicketOne has threatened to refer Italian communications regulator AGCOM to the judiciary for its “failure” to tackle secondary ticketing sites.

Following a previous call-to-action in March, Italy’s largest primary ticketing provider has sent a formal letter to AGCOM (Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni) indicating its dissatisfaction with the regulator’s efforts to implement national laws against for-profit secondary ticketing.

“TicketOne notes that, despite the time elapsed since the presentation of the (March) complaint and AGCOM’s reported start of activities, illegal activities continue to be safely carried out in plain sight.

“The online platforms of three secondary ticketing sites – all referred to in the complaint – as well as individuals selling tickets, continue to operate in total disregard of the regulations.”

According to TicketOne chief executive Stefano Lionetti, so far “nothing has been done” by AGCOM to tackle secondary ticketing.

“We reserve the right to report the failure to implement these measures to the legal authorities”

“We reserve the right to report the failure to implement these measures to the legal authorities, avoiding further delay to the full exercising of AGCOM’s powers,” says the TicketOne chief.

The Italian government placed a ban on most for-profit secondary ticketing in March 2018, granting AGCOM the authority to punish offenders and shutter websites repeatedly infringing the law.

TicketOne’s renewed and reinforced appeal to AGCOM comes as the 1 July deadline for the introduction of named ticketing approaches. The move, which TicketOne deems “ineffective” and “highly disruptive”, sees the personalisation of all tickets for over 5,000-capacity shows.

“The punishing of sites and individuals dedicated to the illegal resale of tickets is the most important – and according to many operators, the only – needed to stop this harmful conduct for both the industry and the public,” reads the letter.

In March 2018, AGCM, Italy’s competition regulator, imposed a €1 million fine on TicketOne for allegedly facilitating illicit ticket resale. A court later rejected the claims, ordering the regulator to refund the fine and all legal costs.

 


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Vivendi’s Italian expansion blocked

Media regulator Agcom has put the brakes on Vivendi’s recent buying up of ticketing, live entertainment and broadcast assets in Italy, ordering the French conglomerate to reduce its stake in either Mediaset or Telecom Italia within the next 12 months.

Italian authorities began an investigation into Vivendi – the parent company of See Tickets, Digitick and Universal Music Group, among many others – in February after a complaint by Mediaset, in which Vivendi has a nearly 29% stake.

Mediaset, founded by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, is known primarily as Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster, but also has a live entertainment ticketing arm, Taquilla Mediaset, closely linked with Ticketmaster.

Vivendi also has a 24% holding in Telecom Italia, one of the country’s biggest telecommunications companies.

“Vivendi reserves the right to take any appropriate legal action to protect its interests”

Agcom (Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni, Communications Authority) yesterday said the company now exerts excessive dominance over Italy’s entertainment and telecoms markets – a claim disputed by Vivendi, which has declared its intention to seek legal action over the ruling.

“Vivendi has always operated within Italian law, and specifically the Gasparri law regarding the protection of media pluralism from the creation of dominant positions. In particular, it is indisputable that Vivendi neither controls nor exercises a dominant influence on Mediaset, which is controlled on an exclusive basis by [the Berlusconis’ holding company] Fininvest, with a stake close to 40%.

“Vivendi reserves the right to take any appropriate legal action to protect its interests, including filing an appeal to the Agcom decision at the Regional Administrative Court (TAR) and to submit a formal complaint to the European Commission for the breach of EU law.

“Vivendi continues to be fully confident in the rule of law and is certain that finally its rights will be recognised.”

 


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